The Work Readiness Academy

February 2023 Newsletter

Director's Message

Dear Families,

Below is a recap of some highlights from the month of February at the Work Readiness Academy. Other important updates will still be sent out via email or letters home with your child.

We are looking forward to rotating all students into at least one new internship experience beginning the 2nd week in March. Stay tuned for communications home in the next week or so with information about your child's new experience...and any related dress requirements!


Josh Bornstein

Director at the UCESC Work Readiness Academy

Upcoming Dates

Monday, March 6, 2023 - Tentative First Week of New Internship(s)

Friday, April 7, 2023 - WRA Closed (first day of Spring recess)

Monday, April 17, 2023 - WRA Reopens

Weather Closings & Delayed Openings

As a reminder, in the event that we need to close the program or delay our opening due to inclement weather, you will receive a message via our Honeywell First Alert system.
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Student Self-Care

The primary goal of the Work Readiness Academy is to prepare students for employment, including the development of critical skills needed to obtain and maintain a job. We are also committed to helping our students build healthy lifelong habits related to caring for their physical and mental health.

Some of the weekly programming we offer that exposes students to activities of self-care includes:

  • A gentle weekly yoga class on Tuesday mornings led by Sandra Marrotta from Ashrams 4 Autism
  • A weekly personal fitness class on Wednesday mornings led by a certifided physical education teacher. This class combines individual and group exercise activities to help students stay active.
  • A weekly Health class where cover age-appropriate topics ranging from healthy relationships to factual information about the affect alcohol & drugs can have on our brains and bodies.
  • Once per month, students visit a local fitnes center - Strength & Fitness Club in Cranford, New Jersey.
  • Students participate in a weekly counseling group with our district Student Assistance Counselor focused on our monthly Social-Emotional Learning topics.

We encourage students and families to discuss options for regular wellness & exercise while at home and/or in the community. If you need assitance in finding options near your home, please don't hesitate to contact us!

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February Pictures from our Work-Based Learning Experiences

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Who Do You Love?

To celebrate Valentine's Day, WRA paraprofessional Tracie Wiebush coordinated a "Who Do You Love" contest. Staff brough in baby pictures from home and they were posted on the bulletin board in the hallway. Students were then challenged to match the pictures to each staff member!
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Meet ChewBARKA!

In February we adopted a new (stuffed) therapy dog at the Work Readiness Academy. Students & staff submitted name suggestions and ultimately chose "ChewBARKA".

"Chewy" will reside in his bed in the main hallway of our school. Any student or staff member who may be having a rough day or feeling a bit down is welcome to pet him or request to have him tag along in class for part or all of the day. His positive "force" brings joy to all who visit with him.

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Social-Emotional learning (SEL) Themes of the Month: Friendship & Cooperation

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WRA in the Community

Fancy Meeting You Here

It's always nice to run into current and former WRA students in the community. Our Director Josh Bornstein was pleasantly suprised to find he was geting a haircut at Corey Matthews Barber Shop in Cranford alongside current WRA student Alejandro Colon.

Fresh cuts look good, gentleman!

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