LIVE- Support Our Futures

I teach in a program for high schoolers with mild to severe autism.  As the rates of autism increase and young adults with autism age out of the educational system, families are finding few resources and opportunities for their family members with exceptional needs. One of the main culprits in this challenge is insufficient or incomplete life skills and vocational skills training at the high school and post secondary levels. While teacher shortages are always an issue to some extent, even the best of teachers can only work with what their own bank accounts and stipends from the school district can afford. This year, for instance, I have been allotted $250 to assist in expanding a vocational program on my campus and I have spent about twice that of my own money just in the first two weeks.

Teaching students life and vocational skills requires a ton of materials as we try to recreate a home and potential occupational settings in our own classroom. This means supplies that include wood and paint for home improvement tasks, dishes and appliances for kitchen tasks, groceries for cooking, craft supplies as students create items to sell, tools and plants for gardening, soaps and mops for custodial tasks, assembly and organizational activities for vocational activities, and staplers and shredders for clerical work.  So far I have hit up the dollar stores like a champ, but there is only so far that my wallet will stretch. 

I believe that my colleague’s and my students (all nineteen of them) deserve the best futures that we can provide them, as do the parents and family members who work so hard to give them the most fulfilling lives possible. These kids work through odds that you and I can only imagine. I would love to be able to present to them a program that is enthusiastic, professional, and personal as I attempt to guide them to their futures and, hopefully, to eventual independence, at whatever levels they are able to achieve this. I propose to make this an integral part of our high school campus and to name it the LIVE program: Life skills, Independence, and Vocational Education to support meaningful living to those with autism and other special needs.

Below I have listed all the materials I am looking to purchase in order to make as complete vocational and life skills program as I can. Also as a part of the program, we will be going into the community at least once a week to experience training in community safety, job shadowing, public transportation, and group recreation.  Additionally, we are working with the campus garden, recycling program, and custodial crew to create partnerships on campus. And we are planning on setting up a store in the teachers’ lounge to learn about money, retail setup, inventory, etc.

Thank you so so much today for considering a donation to our classroom. In order to keep donors informed, I am aiming to post summaries of the purchases made for you to follow as we make improvements to our program.  My students, their families, and myself cannot thank you enough for your generosity and interest. It makes a world of difference to these kids.

Thank you again.

Purchases for our Program:

2 Push Brooms
8 Wood Brooms
5 Dustpans
2 Mops
2 Mop Buckets 
4 Tie Dye Kits (to make clothing to sell)
Assorted Clothing to Tie Dye
Craft Wood Paint
Assorted Beads
String, Crimp Beads, Jump Rings
Needle Nose Pliers (2 Sets)
5 Hammers
Screwdrivers (2 Sets of 5)
2 Drills
Sand Paper
2 Shredders
5 Staplers
Dusters (3 sets of 3)
Toaster Oven
Faculty Room Store Supplies (food, drinks, baskets, money box, price tags)
Storage for All Vocational Activities
Crocheting Loom
Socks (to practice matching and folding)
Office Mailboxes
Hole Punch

Vocational Boxes from the following website:
I am planning to order about 15 Tasks. This is where the bulk of my funding will go.

I also plan to build about 22 additional Tasks on my own (I am planning on funding this myself)

Thank you again for your time!
  • Denise Toro 
    • 25 $ 
    • 48 mos
  • Hanna Feia 
    • 50 $ 
    • 48 mos
  • Jerry and Mary Joy Petry 
    • 100 $ 
    • 48 mos
  • Roxanne Light 
    • 20 $ 
    • 48 mos
  • Gus/Gail Waters 
    • 100 $ 
    • 48 mos
See all


Sara Leanne Cummings 
Simi Valley, CA