NGW logo for 9-28-2022

Redwood Center Café to open in Mooney Boulevard building next week

Redwood Center Cafe in action

Yesterday morning, students from the two Community Based Instruction Classrooms on Caldwell Avenue in Visalia practiced serving coffee and sweets to dozens of customers in TCOE’s Mooney Boulevard building. The practice session was a rehearsal for the real show, which begins next week when the new Redwood Center Café opens. 

The café was the vision of Tulare County Superintendent of Schools Tim Hire. It sits in the southeast corner of the lobby, adjacent to the SCICON mural. A picket fence defines the seating area featuring four small tables for customers, and carts for pastries, fruit cups, and coffee preparation.

The CBIC students are becoming baristas and bakers to run the new Redwood Center Café, which will be open to employees and visitors. On Mondays and Tuesdays each week, some of the students will be prepping and baking items for the café utilizing the large catering kitchen on the first floor. On Wednesdays and Thursdays each week, another group of students will staff the café from 9:00 a.m. until approximately 11:00 a.m., selling coffee drinks and baked goods. In the near future, the café will also offer a variety of espresso drinks. For the time being, the café will operate on a cash-basis, with credit cards accepted in the future.

CBI classes in the kitchen

Special Services operates 14 Community Based Instruction Classrooms throughout the county. The CBICs are open to young adults, ages 18-22, with special needs. The program strives to teach job and independent living skills to the fullest potential of each student. “We are tremendously proud of teachers Kyra Hoehn and Stacey Broyles for taking on this unique project to give their students real-world social and job skills, which will increase their independence as young adults,” said County Superintendent Hire.

Photos above:

~ Student Emily Lara (left) and teacher Kyra Hoehn (right) greet a customer at the soon-to-open Redwood Center Café. The café will operate Wednesday and Thursday mornings in the lobby of the Mooney Boulevard building. Students from the Community Based Instruction Classroom (CBIC) on Caldwell Avenue in Visalia will serve employees and guests in the building a variety of coffee drinks and food items.

~ Teacher Stacey Broyles (far left) and aide Leticia Gil (center back) pose with some of the students in the catering kitchen. The students will utilize the kitchen to create fruit cups, and bake pastries and cookies for the new café. 

 

TKCCC holds Trades Day with hands-on experiences for students

Student works with sheet metal

On Tuesday, the Construction Industry Education Foundation (CIEF) – in partnership with Monache High School’s Manufacturing and Construction Technology Academy, Tulare and Kings Counties Builders Exchange, and the Tulare-Kings College & Career Collaborative (TKCCC) – hosted the Tulare & Kings Counties Trades Day at the Porterville Fairgrounds.

Over 500 students from 17 high schools and organizations across Tulare and Kings counties attended the event. Twenty-one organizations – from northern California to Tulare and Kings counties – came out to support students in trades, offering them a chance to participate in hands-on experiences in welding, ceramic tile, carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, heavy machinery, and much more.

At the event, CIEF Chief Executive Officer Tim Murphy remarked that the average age of someone entering a trades career is 28 and that schools are missing the mark by not getting students to start trades at 18 to 19 years old.

“TKCCC wants to help students explore apprenticeship opportunities working for trades businesses or even becoming an entrepreneur in the trades industry,” said Shelsy Hutchison, a College & Career engagement specialist at the Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE).

Student at Trades Da

Trades Day will be an annual event for TCOE and TKCCC, with plans to expand its reach to more students to increase opportunities for them to experience careers in trades.

“TCOE College and Career department is focusing on building awareness of all the limitless possibilities when it comes to working in the trades,” Hutchison said. “In the past, much of the focus has been solely on encouraging students to choose college, but we must educate our youth on other amazing opportunities they can have if college isn’t for them."

Photos above:

~ Students who attended the Tulare & Kings Counties Trades Day were able to get hands-on experience in various trades careers during the event.

Early intervention services give one girl a place she wants to run to, not from

Margaret

Margaret leaps out of bed each morning, getting herself ready as fast as possible so that she can stand outside for the bus that will take her to school. As the sun rises, Margaret waits in front of her house wearing her trusty Sonic the Hedgehog backpack, dancing as the bus approaches. Margaret’s eager anticipation for the school bus wasn’t always the case. The five year old, who has autism, fought to leave school at first. 

Her transformation is an example of the power of early intervention services delivered by people who love and care for her. Margaret’s supports have come in many forms – from cheerful greetings on the bus each day to the love of an Early Childhood Education teacher who accepted her into her classroom and into her home to play with her own children. The men and women of various programs have helped Margaret enjoy social situations as they have worked on improving her behavior and language skills.

“Prior to the pandemic, we suspected she had autism,” said Andrew Glazier, Margaret’s father. “The isolation of the pandemic was tough on her.” The clever girl, who loves Disney movies and figured out how to order $300 worth of them on her mom’s phone, eloped from the family home twice before her diagnosis. Elopement refers to when an individual with special needs wanders away from a caregiving facility or environment.

Through persistence though, Glazier got Margaret the diagnosis she needed. Her transformation began in December 2020 when it was determined that she was eligible for special education services. She immediately began receiving speech/language services from a Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) speech therapist. TCOE’s Preschool Services team – within the Special Services Division – connected her to Lindsay’s preschool program and provided her behavior support.

In the fall of 2021, Margaret transferred to TCOE’s Early Childhood Education Child Development Center (CDC) in Woodlake. The Preschool Services team ensured that the CDC staff was trained in providing behavioral supports and that Margaret continued to receive speech/language services.

It was at the Woodlake CDC that Margaret met teacher Juana Barragan. “She was simply amazing,” Glazier said. “Her patience with Margaret helped her make big gains.” Glazier laughed, adding “She began coming home saying ‘hola’ and ‘gracias’ – even rolling her R’s.” Barragan became more than a teacher, she became a friend to the family and welcomed Margaret to her home, where she happily played with other children. “Margaret now loves big, inclusive family gatherings,” Glazier said. “There have been times that she’ll put on her backpack and say, ‘Juana’ – asking if she can visit her.” 

Today, Margaret happily attends a Special Day Class at Francis J. White Learning Center in Woodlake, led by teacher Makenna Stephens. With each transition, Joy Voita, Special Services parent liaison, and Joe Martinez, director of Psychological Services, have supported the Glazier family. “Their help has been tremendous,” Glazier said.

Glazier and his wife’s journey as parents of a child with special needs has been one he describes as “exhausting,” and a “lesson in patience.” But it’s a journey he is proud to share with other parents in order to help them. “It’s important not to fixate on the problem, but to look forward,” he said. 

To learn more about finding support for children with special needs, visit tcoe.org/SpecialEducation/ParentLiaisons, or contact Malinda Furtado at (559) 730-2910, extension 5125. The parent liaisons offer a variety of online resources in English and Spanish, and monthly trainings and support groups.

Photo above:

~ Margaret, a five-year-old student at F.J. White Learning Center, awaits the bus that will take her to school. Over the past year and a half, Margaret has received behavior and speech/language support for her autism. Thanks to numerous early intervention services, she is eager to attend school and enjoy social situations. 

 

California Center on Teaching Careers welcomes Emily Walker, celebrates success on teacher recruitment

Emily WalkerLast week the California Center on Teaching Careers (The Center) welcomed Emily Walker as its new program manager.

Walker is a graduate of Fresno Pacific University and spent the past 20 years working for Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS). Her last 16 years with KCSOS were spent working with the Teacher Development Program. She has a vast understanding for cultivating statewide initiatives with educational agencies and stakeholders.

Walker joins The Center at a time when it is celebrating its success with the “We Want You” campaign. The Center recently announced that more than 1,000 prospective teachers have signed up through their first-of-its-kind recruitment campaign in the first eight months.

The "We Want You" campaign aims to fill California’s classrooms with high-quality and effective teachers by rallying hundreds of partners across the state around a target goal of recruiting 25,000 new teachers over the next five years.

“We couldn’t have reached this pivotal milestone in our campaign – recruiting nearly five teachers a day over the past eight months – without the support of our statewide partners,” said Marvin Lopez, executive director of the California Center on Teaching Careers.

Editor: Robert Herman, Communications Director
Contributors: Nayirah Dosu, Marlene Moreno, Jennifer Fisher, Sarah Hamilton, Shelsy Hutchison, Therese Arnold, Joy Voita, Joe Martinez, Emily Walker, and Marvin Lopez.

To receive the News Gallery Week, sign up here, or contact Jennifer Fisher at jenniferf@tcoe.org or (559) 733-6172.