High school program teaching skills for the future

Joe Toppe Staff Writer

December 12, 2013

Joe Toppe

Staff Writer

EASLEY - In an effort to learn vocational skills and raise money for field trips, students a part of the STEEP program at Easley High School provide a variety of services to the faculty.

“The Secondary Transitional Educational Employability Program gets together once a month and feeds the faculty,” said Neal Smith, special education teacher. “The STEEP program is compiled of learning disabled students who will feed the faculty, sweep the floors, and help the football team out to raise money for field trips.”

Smith said the STEEP program students will take their next field trip to a circus in Greenville.

“We are taking our next field trip to a circus in Greenville on Jan. 31,” he said. “We have been able to visit Table Rock, the fire station, and to the Greenville Zoo with funds earned by the students of the STEEP program.”

According to Smith, the program is designed to teach the students applicable and necessary vocational skills.

“We want to teach these students vocational skills so they can become better prepared for a life beyond high school,” Smith said. “We teach them to be accountable, dependable, and to be on time. We teach them the proper form of doing things and we make sure everything they do is done right. While we’re teaching them vocational skills, we are also teaching them to be responsible workers and in the future we hope they will become responsible employees. Our main goal is to make them contributing members of society.”

Smith said each job assigned to the students in the program helps them to not only earn money for field trips, but to learn the value of money.

“By doing these different jobs and getting paid for it, they are learning the value of money,” he said. “We also hope they learn that with working, comes fun activities. We want them to see the reward of working hard. Part of being a responsible adult is learning the value of money and understanding that nothing is free. It takes work to achieve anything whether it is money or success.”

The Green Wave faculty has contributed their resources to the program and has greatly improved its initiative.

“The faculty has been a huge help to us,” Smith said. “They reach out and they participate by giving money, time, and effort. Without their assistance, none of this would be possible and we would certainly not see any results from this program. We are happy to have them on board, we are happy to have their help, and the program is a success because of all of us working together.”