Photos courtesy of East Islip School District
Teachers, staff and students from East Islip High School’s CORE program recently hosted their annual alumni party with alumni, staff and current administrators also in attendance. CORE, which stands for career occupational readiness education, connects special education students with unpaid internships as part of the school’s work-based learning program..
CORE teachers Margaret Gallagher and Sabina Uettwiller created the idea of an alumni party about 11 years ago, when one of their students, who is currently in her 30s, expressed concern that she’d never be able to see her friends and teachers after she left high school. The next year, the teachers and students planned their first annual alumni party. Since then, both CORE alumni and current students look forward to this event every year.
At this year’s party, former CORE students had the opportunity to share their current leisure activities and successful work experiences. Many students were hired at the work sites where they interned as students several years ago. Some students attend day programs where they are continuing to build on the skills that they learned at East Islip High School.
The students and staff began preparing for the party in September. They became party planners by creating a guest list, making invitations, budgeting, planning the menu, shopping and cooking the food. They also made decorations, center pieces and host gifts to give to the alumni.
“It was a successful event and we look forward to next year,” Uettwiler said.