Sukkot items are available starting September 26th.

Teen Exposure Program

Teen Exposure Program

Teen baking classes and work exposure for students in high school ages 16 through graduation, with a variety of learning disabilities, ADHD, high-functioning autism or Asperger Syndrome. Classes provide a hands-on opportunity to experience baking in a professional kitchen, learn basic baking skills, safe food handling, kitchen safety, and have a taste of job expectations.

Teen students decorating cookies

Teen students and their end of program products

Teen students preparing jam thumbprint cookies with instructor

Teen program students decorating cookies and instructor

Topics covered

  • following recipes
  • measuring and weighing ingredients
  • using equipment and tools
  • piping
  • mixing
  • scooping
  • rolling
  • cleaning

Featured “soft skills”

  • following directions
  • sharing equipment/tools
  • appropriate communication
  • focus
  • being a team member.

There will be 8 sessions offered between July 2023 and next June 2024. The curriculum will be the same for all sessions. A teen may register for one session each fiscal year. One-week summer sessions will consist of four consecutive days, Mondays through Thursdays, from 3-5:30pm. Fall, Winter and Spring classes will meet on 4 consecutive Sundays from 12:30-3pm. Students will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis and must be at least 16 years old at the start of their session. All classes are held at 5951 Halpine Road in Rockville.  See dates and times on the Application Form.

Safety is of utmost concern in a kitchen with industrial equipment and sharp tools.

Potential risk factors include uncontrolled seizures, difficulties with balance, control of anger or frustration, sensitivity to sensory irritants, and/or inability to remain standing throughout the 2½-hour class. If a student requires 1:1 assistance, their personal support person may attend the class. Generally, teens are expected to participate as one of 4 students with a professional Chef Instructor and two assistants.

For funding, Sunflower is approved under the Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) program of the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) to provide our teen bakery exposure classes. If your child has signed up with the DORS Pre-ETS program, then inform your counselor, so DORS can begin the approval process. There will be no needs assessment in order to qualify. If you live in Maryland and have not yet signed up for Pre-ETS, please contact the nearest office of DORS for assistance. If a teen is not in Maryland, or not known to DORS, families may pay the fee privately.

To apply, please complete the Application and return as indicated on the Application Form. Please contact us at if you would like more information or have any questions or concerns.