LBMS students learn it's a dog-eat-treat world

Lee Burneson students visit with one of the beneficiaries of their new dog-treats business, a canine from Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

Erin Blahnik’s special education students at Lee Burneson Middle School are learning real-world skills and changing lives through a new business venture – Mazy & Mylo Treats.

The middle school students are starting a dog biscuit business to sell dog treats to school district employees, friends, family and community members.

“It’s a way for my students to practice their functional skills and a way to give back,” Blahnik said.

Their efforts will support Guiding Eyes for the Blind, which provides professionally trained dogs for blind and visually impaired children and adults, as well as children with autism. The group brought some canine trainees in to visit the students recently to show them who Mazy & Mylo Treats is helping.

Students work together to put ingredients together to make the dog biscuits, then wrap them in individual bags with a Mazy & Mylo Treats sticker. Once a week the students hand-deliver orders at the middle school.

Among the real-life skills students are learning include:

  • Communication and social skills, both in making the products and selling them. Students will practice taking turns, requesting items, giving directions, using appropriate manners while at work, appropriate hygiene skills while working, greeting customers, talking about the product, and meeting new people and animals.
  • Communication and social skills will be used while working with typical peers that help in the classroom.
  • Functional math skills – measuring, time, quantity, counting.
  • Functional reading skills – reading a recipe and visual schedules.
  • Vocational skills – packaging items using a jig.
  • Employability skills – appropriate hygiene, manners, being on time, following directions.

Startup costs were completely covered by the LBMS PTA and n2y, a Hudson-based company that develops special education curriculum, which is used in Westlake.

Anyone who wants to place an order for Mazy & Mylo Treats can fill out an order form and email it to Cash only is accepted. Treats cost $3 per dozen and flavors may change weekly.

Read More on Schools
Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:02 AM, 10.20.2015