OHS students’ hard work pays off with Rock River float trip
‘This trip means a lot to the students who take the transition class’
OREGON – A group of 20 Oregon High School students with special needs had the ride of their lives as they floated down the Rock River as part of a work-based learning opportunity with White Pelican Canoe & Kayak Rental in Oregon. For the second year, the transition program students traveled to White Pelican in Oregon to gain hands-on work experience cleaning and detailing the canoe and kayak shuttle vans in preparation for the summer. In exchange, the students enjoyed a float trip down the Rock River, leaving from the Oregon Dam at White Pelican headquarters and concluding at Castle Rock State Park, about four miles away or a 90-minute float away.
“This trip means a lot to the students who take the transition class,” Dominic Cozzi, the special education teacher at Oregon Junior High School and teacher of the transition program, said. “They gain real-life experience, and it helps build social skills and rapport with one another. It’s a great cap to end the school year for students who may not otherwise ever have the opportunity to float the Rock River.”
The transition program maintains several community-based partnerships designed to help students gain work experience in authentic settings. As part of the program, students job sample with local business owners about two hours per week for 12 weeks. Other community partnerships include Hector’s Cocina, Lifeline Food Pantry, Oregon Park District, Oregon Public Library, W@sh, Stronghold Camp and Retreat Center, Ace Hardware, Supervalu, Angel Treasures in Mount Morris and the Oregon Chamber of Commerce.
The transition program is continually seeking work-based learning opportunities, especially those that come with built-in rewards. For those interested in learning more about the transition program, contact Cozzi at [email protected].