After years of searching for ways to teach our special education students real world skills, we finally hit upon an idea that worked! We spent countless hours with manufactured work boxes, playing board games, watching videos, creating worksheets and role playing within our classroom. We finally decided “enough is enough!” We decided to give our students a chance to learn by doing by developing a real business with real customers that existed within the safe environment of our school. We began our campus based coffee shop to provide our students with chances to practice social skills with everyone in the building, not just their teachers. We realized our students were now being given the opportunity to learn practical math skills with real money, not pink monopoly money. We saw our students thrive when given the opportunity to problem solve daily and gain confidence by having real work experiences.
Our Serving Up Success curriculum is now being implemented in over 100 schools across the country.
Serving Up Success, Inc. is a consultative business that equips special education teachers with a “real life” curriculum that enables their students to learn functional, transitional, and vocational skills via a school-based business.
The Serving Up Success program was created to serve high school students in the moderate to mild range (IQ range 40-70) of intellectual disabilities who will be receiving a special education diploma.
Each student in special education has an Individual Education Plan (IEP). Mandated at age 14, each IEP is required to address a transition plan for the student, and how the student, parent, teacher, and school system will prepare the student for graduation. Graduation will take them directly into the work force, as college is not an option for these intellectually disabled students. At the high school level, these students must focus on functional academics and valuable vocational skills in order to obtain gainful employment and independent or semi-independent living after high school graduation.
The Serving Up Success program provides an avenue of options for those students who are not college-bound. Where other curriculums offer only videos, worksheets, board games, role playing ideas, textbooks and workbooks to teach transitional skills for special needs students, the Serving Up Success program is radically different.
The Serving Up Success program teaches school-to-work skills by having the students actually deal with real customers, real money and real on-the-job scenarios. What better way to prepare a student for “real life” but to have them “employed” at a “real business?” What better way to meet the legal obligations of the IEP transition plan, but to establish a real work environment at the school?