A grant will help a local school district with an innovative program to provide students with real-life skills.

The Livingston Educational Service Agency has received $2,500 to expand a special needs program. Lacey’s Love Dog Biscuit Company was created to provide real work experience to LESA students, including communication, socialization, attention to detail, scheduling and time and money management. Officials say students learn concepts beyond the classroom to produce, market and sell dog biscuits, which in turn helps make the transition from students to young adults in the workforce.

The money came from the SET SEG Foundation, the charitable arm of the non-profit provider of school employee benefits. Lisa Truscott is the foundation’s Executive Director and says their judges selected the program based on its unique approach and they hope the grant will expand the program to reach a larger group of consumers and operate on a year-round basis. The Education Excellence Awards are in their 24th year and are produced through a partnership between the SET SEG Foundation and Michigan Association of School Boards. (JK)