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Community Learning & Participation

The children's vocational training program teaches Lakemary students job skills and responsibility.

As part of the comprehensive educational program at Lakemary Center, students ages 7-21 have the opportunity to participate in Lakemary School’s vocational training. The younger, more inexperienced students work in a variety of in-house “jobs”. These jobs take about 30 minutes to complete and the children work on them 2-3 times per week. There are nearly 25 different positions, supervised by a vocational paraprofessional, designed to let students have a broad range of work experiences and to help build responsibility and endurance.

Older students obtain jobs in the community for more extensive training. Students, supervised by Lakemary vocational paraprofessionals, learn to do jobs or parts of jobs by actually performing the tasks that a regular employee would be expected to do. Since this is training and an extension of the students school day, there is no cost to participating businesses.

A number of local businesses have been a part of this exciting opportunity for students for several years. We continue to rely on them for the success of our program. Special thanks to participating companies: C&G Merchants, Hasselquist Hut, Miami County Medical Center, Paola Christian Church, Paola Community Center, Paola Country Club, Paola Fire Department, Paola Free Library, Paola Inn & Suites, Queen's Price Chopper, Simple Simons, Spudley's, Subway.

There are many program benefits for participating students. Some of our more experienced students have even been successful in securing part-time, paid jobs after school and on weekends. Lakemary provides ongoing job coaching for students who are employed as well as regular on-site consultation with employers to ensure success.

The goals of the children’s vocational training program are:

  • To teach students job skills such as dependability, punctuality, cooperation, following directions, and specific performance skills.
  • To provide “real” work experiences where students are taught to fill out applications, be interviewed by employers, and to encourage them to be responsible employees.
  • To provide appropriate rewards and consequences for work behavior.
  • To increase the opportunities and experiences of each student as they progress through their school years.
  • To provide feedback and support to each student so that they will be successful in the world of work.
  • To guide students through “practice” jobs and help students better adjust to "life after Lakemary".

For more information on how you can participate in our vocational training program, please email Mary Yurchak, Children’s Vocational Education Coordinator, at call (913) 557-4000 ext. 608.