Rockford has a share in something new
Region 1 Special Education has Region 1 Transition Services (R1TS) programs for students from ages 18-21. These Transition specific programs focus instruction on adult, independent living skills including social skills and employability skills. In March, 2006 the R1TS Resale Store made its grand opening. R1TS Resale is a “real” store, run by students and staff from various Region 1 Transition specific and high school programs. Goodwill Industries sponsored its development and continues to provide their coaching support. In the beginning, the R1TS students invested countless hours preparing the store for operation. The building, donated by Cedar Springs Public Schools, needed to be remodeled. The students removed old carpet, painted walls, and set-up the hardware before the opening. Having put in so much time and effort, the students feel a real sense of ownership and investment in the store. As one young adult participant stated proudly, “We did everything except for installing the carpet!”
The student-run store provides an environment for them to gain valuable work skills. The students get practice with customer service, running the cash register, taking and keeping track of inventory, janitorial skills and leadership. Because they work as a team, each person has the opportunity to teach others certain skills that can enhance the daily operation of the store.
November 2008 brought a new opportunity for Rockford High School students through an “Applied Transition” class run by teachers Dale Goossen and Linda Verhagen. This class is now partnering with R1TS Resale in two ways. A donation site is being developed right on the Rockford High School campus and student groups will volunteer for two shifts a week at the store as part of their Community-Based instruction.
This exciting enterprise will provide more ways to create meaningful learning activities for our students. Please watch for further information on ways you can support their venture and please stop in at the R1TS Resale Store. You are certain to be awed!
The R1TS Resale Store is located at 204 East Muskegon Street, Cedar Springs (located on Cedar Springs Public Schools Campus, behind Red Hawk Elementary) and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.