The Rapidian

KVO/CBOT students learn through giving

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KVO/CBOT Saint Mary's classroom learn about giving and being apart of their community through the arts and the Marine Toys for Tots.
Underwriting support from:
Liz accepts the donation from Brent, Michael, Brett, and Felicia for the KVO/CBOT Toys for Tots drive.

Liz accepts the donation from Brent, Michael, Brett, and Felicia for the KVO/CBOT Toys for Tots drive. /Photo taken at the KVO/CBOT Lincoln Campus main office.

Here at Kent Vocational Options and Community Based Occupational Training (KVO/CBOT), we strive to provide educational opportunities to all students with disabilities. As part of this effort, on November 9, 2012 a vision statement committee was formed to distill this effort into a vision statement. With the contribution of multiple stakeholders including Michele Suchovsky, executive director of Artists Creating Together West Michigan, Tom Scott, a CBOT teacher in our North Kent Classroom, Todd Jones, a transition coordinator at KVO/CBOT, Cheryl Warner, a parent of a KVO/CBOT student and Heather Poetschke, a KVO/CBOT Student a vision statement was created. It states:

"Our vision is to advocate for and educate every student at KVO/CBOT to be independent, authentic and fulfilled members of their community and to educate the larger community of the unique talents, skills and value every individual with disabilities can provide society.”

This vision was recently exemplified by the students and staff in the KVO/CBOT Saint Mary’s classroom. After some discussion, students decided that a good way to give back to their community would be through the arts. Students used their artistic ability to create holiday cards and with the assistance of Ken Golden, the husband of classroom teacher Jeanine Golden, and the Kent ISD Print Shop, these cards were put into packs of five and sold in Saint Mary’s Hospital’s gift shop. Throughout this activity, students were able to learn about micro-industries, the arts, being an active participant in and giving back to the community. In addition the larger community benefited from the talents and interests of these individuals through the purchasing and distribution of holiday cards that were distinctive and unique. Through the efforts of the Saint Mary’s classroom staff and students, $50 was raised and donated to the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

Pictured are Brent DeVries, Michael Lewis, Brett Wesselink and Felicia Russell giving the money they raised through their holiday card project to KVO/CBOT staff Liz Kohlenberger for the Toys for Tots drive. 

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