The annual LEAP Winter Bash was held last month at Russellville Grange.
This year, students focused on putting their job training skills to work, Life Education for Adults of Parkrose instructor Kesia Micheletti explained. Instead of the usual casual gathering with a few snacks and beverages, students created an elaborate sit down luncheon for special guests and supporters.
Guests were greeted by a pair of neatly attired students who took coats and jackets at the door. Long tables were set for luncheon with all the appropriate cutlery, glassware and napkins in place. Each place setting featured a printed menu smartly tied with a red ribbon.
Centerpieces were gaily wrapped packages.
Another pair of friendly students passed appetizers-salami, cheese and crackers, and corn muffins stuffed with little sausages.
After Micheletti rang the bell signaling guests should be seated, students politely served salad, removing those plates when empty and replacing them with the main course, a delicious spinach lasagna roll. Several kinds of cookies were offered for dessert.
Students planned the menu and decorations, did all the shopping, prepared the food and did all the set up and clean up.
Special guests included school district staff, community supporters and business owners that provide job training for LEAP students at area businesses.
According to the description on the Parkrose School district website, Life Education for Adults of Parkrose is available to individuals with disabilities who live within the boundaries of the Parkrose School District through age 21. Located at the Maywood Campus of Mt. Hood Community College, the service helps students bridge the gaps between high school and adult life. The goal is to ensure students navigate into adulthood successfully, addressing life skills not traditionally focused on during high school.
A major focus of the program is to work with the Oregon Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to find employment in companies and positions matching the individuals’ strengths, interests and skills. Other services include assisting students in identifying options in the following areas: continuing education, housing, transportation, social and leisure opportunities, physical and mental health supports, financial security, and social and civic responsibilities.