Transition for Life Fair
Gateway Tech High
5101 McRee Avenue
St. Louis MO 63110
Email Stephen Taylor
The St. Louis Missouri Public School district promotes postsecondary opportunities through field trips, job shadowing and participation in the annual transition fair entitled Transition for Life hosted by Forest Park Community College. At the fair students with any disability can attend breakout sessions and meet with representatives from community agencies that are available throughout the city.
The Transition for Life fair gives students a chance to meet agencies/vendors prior to graduation. Before the fair each student receives a resource guide that includes each vendor and their services along with contact information. Each year about 40-50 vendors/agencies participate in the fair. All agencies are provided a table where they can set up a display and have staff talk about their services and answer questions. Some of the agencies are asked to present at 30-45 min break out sessions where they can provide detailed information regarding their agency/service. Agencies that have participated include: St. Louis Health Department, Social Security, Easter Seals, Vocational Rehabilitation and Paraquad (Center for Independent Living).
All students with disabilities and their parents are invited to attend the fair. In the spring, 2010 fair, 140 students and 20 parents participated. The fair takes place during a school day because more students participate. Because the fair takes place during the school day students are required to get a field trip permission slip signed by their parent/guardian. This permission slip also acts as a flyer inviting the parents to the fair.
In addition to learning about what services the various agencies offer the fair also provides students the opportunity to experience what a day at a community college is like. After the fair each year students fill out evaluations and provide feedback that is used to plan future fairs.
WHEN AND HOW IT BEGAN
The Transition Fair has been in existence for over 15 plus years. The Transition Fair would be held at different high through out the years, over the years the fair has been greatly improved. In the beginning student would walk around to the different vendors and talk with them and they were just served juice and cookies, break-out session were not part of the fair. Today it is an all day affair with lunch being provided to the students and staff. It is a really good a fantastic day.