By Nicole Walby
The Mohawk High School Multi-Handicapped Unit has entered the Seeds of Change: Share the Good grant program.
The MH Unit could be eligible to win a $25,000 grant or one of 15 $10,000 grants. These grants are to support and develop sustainable community based gardening and farming programs and to aid in teaching individuals where their food comes from.
"Currently, the Mohawk Multi-Handicapped Unit serves students with the most significant disabilities," Lindsay Lewis, MH Unit intervention specialist from Mohawk said. "The classroom focuses on academic and functional, life skills. Students currently travel into the community to perform basic job skills with area businesses, go on grocery shopping trips, and also go on restaurant outings to practice reading menus, ordering food, and paying for items."
Go to www.sharethegoodgrant.com or go to the "Seeds of Change" page on Facebook, click on "Share the Good" tab, then like the page. Visitors can then type in the school zip code, 44882, and click vote. The top 50 organizations with the most votes will move on to a final judging phase.
Students are able to practice social skills through two new programs introduced this year, Lewis said.
One program is the "Lunch Bunch" program, which gives students in the MH Unit one-on-one time with typically developing students to practice needed social skills and make friends.
The second program is the greenhouse program. It is run with a Service Learning Class in which developing students are organized along side of MH students in order to learn about plant science and the running of a successful small business.
"Students have already grown and sold plants this year from seed, and have been very successful. With the introduction of the greenhouse program, there are many ways to share the good with both students with disabilities, as well as the rest of the school and community," Lewis said.
Lewis said the MH Unit plans to expand its program to include a "brown bag" program to send home produce with students on a weekly basis, as well as incorporate raised-bed school and community gardening projects.
"We are now asking for community support through the public voting phase on Facebook," Lewis said.
From, now through May 17, individuals may vote once per day for the organization they feel deserves a grant based on the organization's demonstration of how the grant would help it to achieve its goals, according to a release.