It is hard to believe, but, yes, we are at the close of yet another school year. These months have seemed to have just flown by and almost with a sort of a vengeance about it, the harder the students worked, the faster the days passed. And the students DID work hard this year. They continued to increase their skills in facilitating their own IEP meetings (thanks to Miss Colleen Gibson from the Arc), they gained more knowledge, confidence and independence by using the MTA bus system and are now practicing their interview skills through a mock interview process. In spite of all of this hard work, there was still time set aside for fun, socialization and recreation.
A picnic was held at Centennial Park in April, with all the teachers, job coaches and students present from all of the seven CBTP sites. Games, entertainment and food (including graduation cakes) were the main foci of this event. Bike riding at Shelby Bottoms Park continued to be a Monday activity for most of the classes this spring. Now, end of the year trips are underway: from The Adventure Science Center, to the General Jackson, the Golden Corral, the Loveless Hotel for brunch and even to Bloodworth BMW showroom for a Bar-B-Que.
These students sure do get around town. One of the most exciting, culminating activities for the school year was, The Employer Appreciation Breakfast. This remarkable event was held at the Martin Professional Development Center on Friday May 16th. Over 55 businesses that partner with the Metropolitan Nashville Public School’s Community Based and Work Based Learning Programs were invited to this first time, very special morning happening. Along with the employers that were represented, were most of the Community Based Teachers, some of the Job Coaches and most of the exiting CBTP students, all of whom we will sorely miss. The highlight of the morning was clearly the illustrious guest speakers, The Honorable Mayor Karl Dean and Dr. Jesse Register.
They both thanked the audience for their dedication to working with students with disabilities and for encouraging and supporting these students in acquiring the necessary employment skills, that could quite possibly lead to competitive paid employment, a major goal of the program.
Everyone enjoyed and benefitted from this very productive 2013-2014 school season. The students worked hard and played hard. We all learned that without you, our friends, our supporters, our parents, our employers that we never could have accomplished all that we have. We are grateful for the many blessings that were bestowed upon us this past school year and wish for all of you a restful, fun and safe summer. See you again in August!