Azle ISD’s Community Based Vocational Instruction program wants to spread its reach into the community.
CBVI offers opportunities for special needs students and prepares them for the world of employment as they receive real-world work experience with Azle businesses. The program involves students who are 18 and older and are on an individual education plan.
At the Azle ISD’s Transition Center, educators prepare students to expand independence, provide pre-vocational skills, expand self-advocacy skills as well as social and community integration, said transition teacher Amy Worthy, who is in her first year in Azle ISD and in her first year as a transition teacher.
“The individuals are working on daily living skills, they’re working on community-based learning,” Worthy said, describing CBVI. “They are working on vocational training, trying to get them ready for a life after school and community integration.”
Thirteen students are involved in the program, with a morning and an afternoon class, said Worthy, who is in her 13th year in special education and has taught in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw and Hurst Euless Bedford school districts.
Students can be placed in a range of jobs and students in the CBVI program have a range of skills, as there are some students who are focused on home living skills to those students who currently employed.
“We go out into the community, and we are given opportunities to have hands-on learning,” Worthy said.
She said students can go to Azle Café and complete some duties, such as clean and bus tables, and get a chance to use their social skills. Students also help at Custom Thread by stock shelves, roll T-shirts and bag, price and label items.
“A wide variety of skills learned there,” she said.
Students help at The Porch, where they sort clothes’ sizes and hang clothes, and students help at Slice, where they bag pecans and other items and price/label various items.
“They’ve been given the opportunity to learn how to use the scanner and the pricing of things and make change,” she said.
Students who participate in the program receive direct supervision of a trained Azle ISD job coach during each visit. Worthy and an aide go with the students on visits and job coach them at the site, and students learn hands-on opportunities to learn and master skills. Before CBVI begins, students receive instructions for expectations on the job site, Worthy said.
Worthy said the program is looking for businesses interested in being program partners.
“It’s win-win because we are able to help them, but they are also giving us those opportunities to practice those skills,” Worthy said about these partnerships. “And it’s just heartwarming as well as being able to see our students in action and how much they can provide for the community.”
Any businesses interested in a partnership may contact Worthy at 817-773-2164 or firstname.lastname@example.org.