Special education students at Merrill High School have the opportunity to gain valuable work experience through the Work Study Program, a partnership between the school and a host of local businesses.
The Work Study program is a specially designed program for students with special education needs in which they are able to receive hands on training and employment support, as well as earn high school credit toward graduation.
“The most rewarding part of this program is seeing our students who have struggled in the classroom for much of their lives meet success on the job site,” stated MHS Special Education Work Study Coordinators Craig Hoffman and Amy Heimerl.
The local businesses provide guidance, training, and vocational education beyond classroom instruction. The dedication and cooperative effort between the school and businesses ensure that MAPS Special Education students are given the opportunity to gain valuable employability skills. This program allows students begin to learn how to transfer what they learn in the classroom and apply it to real life situations.
“The time, guidance, patience, and partnership are truly invaluable to our students. We are immensely grateful for the continual support from the Merrill community,” the coordinators stated.
Businesses participating in this year’s Work Study Program were Ace Hardware, AmericInn, Auto Diels, Auto Jockey’s, Barrel O' Fun, Bonke Farms, Breaman's, Breitenmoser Farms, Carquest, Champ’s Restaurant, Dave’s County Market, DC Motors, Dollar Tree, E & H Automotive, Eagle's Club, First Street Coffee Station, Hardee's, Helping Hands Thrift Store, Holy Cross Sisters, Humane Society, Ken Marquardt Farms, Kid’s Kingdom, Koss Marine & Monument, Kwik Trip, Lincoln Co. 4-H Extension Office, Looks Unlimited, Merrill Karate Club, Mid-West Trailers, Muffler & Brake Specialists, Murphy’s Mini-Mart, Pizza Hut, Rich’s Discount, Schulz’ Recycling, Skipper’s Restaurant, St. Stephan's Church, St. Vincent DePaul, T.B. Scott Library, To Your Health, Victory Lane and Walgreen's.
The program also receives support from the Merrill Area Public Schools staff, particularly at the PRMS Special Education Department, Kate Goodrich, Jefferson and Washington elementary schools and the school forest.