May 31, 2022 - Acts of kindness - that was the theme this year for VAT-19 Vocational Skills Program (VSP) students. VSP Instructor Joy Voss has been teaching her students how something as simple as a smile can go a long way and bring joy to her student's lives and others. It began with the class creating an independent and employment vision based on the theme at the beginning of the school year.
“Our team made a list of who and what we could do together, and then they each created an act of kindness chain that referenced what they could achieve independently,” said Voss.
Some of the students' goals included working with animals, doing laundry, serving lunch, and making blankets for the winter. They volunteered at organizations where they could achieve these goals, which included The Center for Head Injury, STL Food Pantry and the Humane Society.
“We started the year by creating an event for the Center for Head Injury,” said Voss. “Our team hosted an ice cream social and we ended the year with a poppin’ celebration by serving a popcorn bar.”
Students also picked up trash as VAT-19, volunteered at the food pantry, did laundry, cleaned, and read to animals at the Humane Society.
“Each week before our next visit, the interns would visit the Humane Society website to see if an animal had been adopted,” said Voss. “The whole group would cheer when animals were adopted.”
Working at the Humane Society was a first for Voss and her students. Everyone has the option to work at sites based on their interest. The theme for the fall will be respect.