Special Education Students Build Classroom Business

Posted: 5:01 PM, Dec 13, 2016
Updated: 2016-12-13 21:25:23-05

Students at three Cheatham County High Schools are learning how to create personalized t-shirts, mugs, and water bottles. It's part of a program aimed at teaching special education students job skills and confidence.

"They may leave here and go to a job, assembly line kind of work - this shows them they an do that," said Life Skills teacher Tish Jenkins. "But it also helps them feel like they're a part of something bigger."

The idea started in the 2015-2016 school year, when all three of the county's high schools were awarded a federal grant for more than $25,000. The schools used that money to purchase the technology and supplies they'd need to print designs and names on different items.

Students named their business the Cubby Trading Post.

"With the money we make from the shirts, mugs, and tote bags, we buy items we need for this classroom," Jenkins said. "We buy food to teach the students how to make a meal, and laundry detergent so they can learn to wash their own clothes."

So far, student have created t-shirts for local businesses, school clubs, and conferences.

"The biggest part to me with Life Skills is that they feel comfortable in their own skin, that they feel comfortable  knowing, 'Hey I'm giving back, I'm helping, I'm just like everyone else,'" Jenkins said. "You want them to have that, because we all have that need, and so do they."

To order your own personalized items you can go to the Cubby Trading Post Facebook Page or call (615) 792-5641 and ask for Tish Jenkins.