When Linda Lannie was a child, she knew she would either become a nurse or a teacher. Thankfully, for children throughout Rhode Island, she chose the latter.
Lannie worked in the Newport, Rhode Island School District for 28 years, as both a teacher of English and History and as a guidance counselor. She retired, but didn't stay out of circulation long. She was quickly hired by the East Bay Educational Collaborative, a non-profit organization in Warren, Rhode Island, where she developed a literacy program for students with behavioral challenges. Four years later, the same non-profit asked Lannie to help found the Rhode Island Transition Academy.
As the associate director of the academy, Lannie helps developmentally disabled 18 to 21-year-olds bridge the gap between high school and the workplace by teaching them life, job, and communication skills. It's a one-year program, a focus of which is the practical application of the math and money skills they will need when they graduate.
Linda Lannie relies heavily on Practical Money Skills curriculum to teach her students banking, budgeting and how to calculate their net worth. They learn comparative shopping concepts from the Practical Money Skills curriculum before Lannie takes them to the local supermarket for the real thing.
Armed with classroom learning, Lannie leads students on grocery scavenger hunts or themed shopping. The class then continues their practical learning back in the kitchen with lessons in measuring ingredients and safe cooking practices, before getting to enjoy the fruits of their labors.
Says Lannie, "It's our hope that by focusing on practical skills such as math and money, we can ease these students' transition into the workplace and help them to be more productive citizens."