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Whitestone Day School’s Vocational Training Program: the Evolution of the Day School Store

February 13, 2017 3:00 pm Published by


In April 2015, the Day School store opened for the first time as part of the school’s vocational training program. In its infancy, the Day School store offered a variety of snacks, water, and fruit to its customers, mainly Day School staff and school visitors. From the beginning, the school store has been run by Day School students. The students perform a variety of jobs associated with the school store, including but not limited to operating the cash register, attending to customers, restocking merchandise, and taking inventory of store merchandise.

The next step in the development of the Day School store was selling baked goods. With the support of our wonderful Day School staff, students then started baking a variety of goods to sell at the school store once or twice per week. The students learned to look up and follow a variety of recipes to make the baked goods. These bake sales received very positive reviews by school staff, and whenever students baked, school staff were excited to buy at the school store.

This past Friday, students made lunches to sell at the school store and it was a great success! During the past month, students have been working on surveying the school staff on lunch preferences, tallying the results of lunch surveys, making lists of the necessary ingredients, going to the neighborhood supermarket to find materials and ingredients, pricing items, and drawing signs to advertise that lunches would now be available at the school store.

The day before students were to make lunches at the school store, students working at the store visited each classroom and took lunch orders. The items available for lunch included: turkey wraps or a side Caesar salad. The students then tallied the orders to see how many of each lunch choice they had to prepare the next day. The next day, the students then worked on filling all of the lunch orders. With staff support, the students followed the recipes to make the lunches, then labeled each lunch with the staff member’s name. The students that were on cashier duty that day, then rang each order on the cash register as the orders were picked up by the staff.

The students that work at the school store then created a survey to assess whether staff members were happy with their orders and whether they would order again. Survey results were positive, and the students working at the school store will continue to expand on the menu options available. As the school store continues to grow, the students that work at the store will have the opportunity to continue developing their job readiness skills.





Cynthia Martinez, M.S., M.S. Ed., SBL, Senior  ABA Coordinator, QSAC Day School has been with QSAC since 2007.  She started out as a Medicaid Service Coordinator, then transferred to the Day School where she was a classroom teacher for 4 and a half years.  Cynthia has been at her current position as a Senior ABA Coordinator since 2016.  Cynthia has a Master’s degree in Special Education from The City College of New York and a Master’s degree in School Building Leadership from Touro College.



QSAC is a New York City and Long Island based nonprofit that supports children and adults with autism, together with their families, in achieving greater independence, realizing their future potential, and contributing to their communities in a meaningful way by offering person-centered services.

QSAC pursues this mission through direct services that provide a supportive and individualized setting for children and adults with autism to improve their communication, socialization, academic, and functional skills.