Job-a-Polooza at Madison County High School


Over 80 Madison County High School (MCHS) students, along with other students in the Tri-County attended this year's Job-a-Polooza at Madison County High School.  Job-a-Palooza is a fun-filled event where local and surrounding area youth with varying disabilities can learn and demonstrate new job skills and make new connections. It bridges the communication gap between three distinct groups: businesses, youth and young adults with disabilities, and youth and young adult mentors.

Ms. Maryssa Block’s, Access Teacher at MCHS, students and youth mentors of the school participated in the second annual Job-a-Polooza at the high school participated in this well-crafted program that aids the student in identifying their potential skills that will allow these students to choose a career and live a healthy and productive life after high school.  This all-day event was career oriented but also fun as each student went though each career station to see their forte in what they would like to do.  She said, “It was eye opening for my students to see what job they can apply for based on their disability.  This is such a great experience for my students and all students in attendance.”

Local businesses provide job tasks and judge competitors based on the speed and quality in which they complete a task. Mentors teach these skills to competitors utilizing broken down steps (task analysis), as well as coach and cheer their competitor through each competitive task. Competitors work hard to learn a new skill and demonstrate their mastery of it through a fun, friendly competition.  This event was sponsored Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, The Arc of the Big Bend, and The Arc of Florida.

Mrs. Coleen Agner, ESE Staffing Specialist, and Director of The Able Trust High School High Tech (HSHT) at the high school, worked closely with The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to make this a great event.  With the combined efforts of her and Ms. Block, it turned out to be a very successful experience for all our of Access students, HSHT members, and mentors that participated at the high school.

Article by Mike Radel/MCHS Business Teacher
and from The Arc Big Ben Organization