Teen Exposure Programs

After-School Teen Exposure Program

NEW in 2018: a once-a-week after-school, 5-session baking and work exposure program for students in high school ages 14-21 (9th grade through graduation), with a variety of learning disabilities, ADHD, high-functioning autism or Asperger Syndrome. These classes are a wonderful real-time opportunity to experience baking in a professional kitchen, while learning basic baking skills, safe food handling and kitchen safety.

Sunflower’s ASTEP is approved under the Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) program of the Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) to provide our year-round teen bakery exposure classes. If your son or daughter has signed up with DORS for the Pre-ETS program, then you should inform your counselor that you plan to apply for one of our programs, so DORS can begin the approval process. Any student in Maryland between the ages of 14 and 21 who is still enrolled in school, and who has requested Pre-ETS services from DORS would be eligible for free tuition for the classes. 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 Marcia Rohrer at the Wheaton office of DORS, marcia.rohrer@maryland.gov, or call 301-949-3750.

The Program

Teen rolling pastryTopics covered include following recipes, measuring and weighing ingredients, using equipment and tools, piping, mixing, scooping, rolling and cleaning. Students will be introduced to “soft skills” desired by employers in the food industry, such as following directions, sharing equipment/tools, appropriate communication, focus and being a team member. In our production bakery alongside professional chefs, teens are exposed to a real work environment daily. During the last session, parents are invited to see their teen’s creations and hear more about the experience.
Classes are from 3:30-6:00 pm on five consecutive Tuesdays, beginning October 16 and ending on November 13, at our kitchen at 8507 Ziggy Lane in Gaithersburg. There will be additional classes offered later in the school year, as well as during the summer.

A Safe Environment

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, a personal support staff person may attend the class. Teens are expected to participate in small classes of no more than 6 students with at least one instructor-chef and two assistants.

How to ApplyPracticing writing with royal frosting

Please complete this Application. When your Application is received, we will contact you to schedule an initial orientation. Contact Sara Portman Milner at sara@sunflowerbakery.org if you would like more information or if you would like to schedule the initial visit.

Volunteers 16 years and older help participants learn to bake. To apply, submit the Volunteer Application Form.

Summer Teen Exposure Program

Details for the Summer Teen Exposure Program (STEP) will be forthcoming in March 2019.