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L.I.F.E. Academy enrolling students for upcoming year

By Staff | Aug 6, 2009

Goodwill Industries’ L.I.F.E. Academy is accepting students for its 2009-10 school year.
The academy, a tuition-free public school that helps young adults with development disabilities, was issued a charter from the Lee County School District earlier this spring.
It offers individualized programs designed for each student to earn life and vocational skills.
According to Principal Lynn Pottorf, there are approximately 10 openings at the school. Eligible students range from grades 6-12 and ages 11-22.
“If parents are interested in seeing what we have to offer, we’d like to meet with them as soon as possible,” she said.
Applications are considered at a first-come, first-served basis. A random lottery system will be used if the number of applications exceeds the number of openings.
Besides learning life skills such as cooking, cleaning, washing and basic math and reading, the school offers a vocational training program. Students take an assessment to determine their interests and aptitudes and train in a vocation that suits their abilities.
“We have a work training program where they are trained to go into the work force after they graduate,” said Marly Restivo, secretary to the principal.
Later, the students are given the opportunity to work at a Goodwill store for one year, then can stay with the company or find employment elsewhere.
Restivo said the school is starting the year with 39 students, but it has rooms to expand the program if more enroll.
The school is hosting an open house from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 20 at 3365-D Seminole Ave. in Fort Myers to let parents and prospective students see the facility.
“The best way is to give us a call and give us an appointment, and have a tour and enroll the child if they qualify,” Restivo said.
Pottorf said the school is trying to support families and give students individualized attention.
“That’s important for a lot of parents who have students with intellectual disabilities. Our parents often tell us that they receive more one-on-one attention than they received in a more traditional school setting,” she said.
Parents who want to enroll their children at the L.I.F.E. Academy should contact the school at 334-4434 or visit: goodwilllifeacademy.org.
Goodwill has 27 stores across Southwest Florida and 95 percent of its proceeds benefits its programs and services.
It also provides low-income housing for people with physical disabilities and career development.