The La Vista Community Foundation has awarded the Papillion-La Vista Schools Foundation grants to support two district programs, LC Perk and Project SEARCH.

LC Perk will use the $500 awarded to help enhance the coffee-based learning program for special educations students at La Vista Middle School. Students participating in LC Perk run a business selling coffee to La Vista Middle School teachers. Through the business, they practice real-life skills like social interactions, order taking, food service, budgeting, and math. LC Perk also prepares students to participate in the beverage businesses at the high school level, Bow Down Brew at Papillion La Vista High School and Titan Brew at Papillion La Vista South High School.

Lisa Bowlin, a 7th grade ELA teacher, says  "The LC-Perk program has had a positive impact on the students involved, and on our learning community as a whole.  It is evident that the students providing this service take pride in their work.  It is so much fun to interact with the kids on a daily basis, as they enter the room with a smile, and confidently deliver your beverage, exiting with a “Have a nice day!”

Project SEARCH attempts to eliminate barriers to employment for young people with a variety of developmental disabilities. The goal of the program is to train students for competitive employment in the workforce by providing real-life working experience while the students still have support from their teachers and peers in Papillion La Vista Community Schools. In Papillion La Vista Community Schools, Embassy Suites La Vista is the program’s biggest supporter, as well as the home to Project SEARCH.

Students work on employability and functional skills every day throughout the school year. Classroom activities are designed around areas including team building, communication, money management, workplace safety, technology, job search skills, interviewing, and keeping a job. Through a series of three targeted internships, the students gain competitive, marketable, and transferable skills to enable them to apply for a related position. The last months of the Project SEARCH program focus on refining skills, achieving career goals, and job placement.

The La Vista Community Foundation's grant of $1,500 to Project SEARCH will be used for two purposes: One, to purchase technology for students to learn the skills needed for job training, creating a resume, and filling out applications for a job. Second, to provide professional development for staff to further develop opportunities and job embedded training for our students. 

Embassy Suites Director of Sales David Scott, Project Search Teacher Kady Wendt, and PLCS High School Special Services Supervisor Nicole Pechous accepted the grant from the La Vista Community Foundation.  They spoke of the success of Project SEARCH. Papillion La Vista Community Schools averages 10 Project SEARCH graduates each year. In the five years since its inception, only one student was not able to be competitively employed after graduation. Embassy Suites has hired several Project SEARCH graduates over the years!

Thank you for your support, La Vista Community Foundation!

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