The Rapidian

KVO & CBOT students tour area Papa John's franchise

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Class of students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder toued area Papa John's franchise to explore vocational options available to students.
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Katie Miller holds her pizza she made as part of the classroom tour.

Katie Miller holds her pizza she made as part of the classroom tour. /KVO&CBOT Hillcrest Class

Michael Bronkema(L) and  Alex Pusztai (R) learn about assembling boxes as part of their classroom tour at Papa John's on Plainfi

Michael Bronkema(L) and Alex Pusztai (R) learn about assembling boxes as part of their classroom tour at Papa John's on Plainfi /KVO&CBOT Hillcrest Class

(L to R) Alex Pusztal, Michael Bronkema, Kristen Barnikow and Nick Evans enjoy their pizzas during  their tour of Papa John's

(L to R) Alex Pusztal, Michael Bronkema, Kristen Barnikow and Nick Evans enjoy their pizzas during their tour of Papa John's /KVO&CBOT Hillcrest Class

The Hillcrest 1 classroom for students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, part of the Grand Rapids Public Schools Kent Vocational Options and Community Based Occupational Training program, toured a local Papa Johns franchise to explore possible vocational outcomes for their students.

“A large part of our student’s curriculum centers around vocational exploration. Because of this, students are asked what types of jobs interest them and one of my students said working for Papa Johns,” said Amy Hams, KVO and CBOT Teacher. “Although they may not be able to be hired in a standard competitive employment position, this does not mean this goal is out of reach for them.” By utilizing job training techniques, it is sometimes possible to “carve out” a position that may allow these students the dignity of employment. “Just because they can not make pizzas independently does not mean they cannot stock products, assemble boxes or any other low skill but highly important part of the business.”

Student Katie Miller said, “I want to work in the food industry. I learned I could take orders, stock shelves with dough and other ingredients or make boxes. The best part of the tour was making my own pizza and eating it with my class. I learned that the busiest time of the year [is] during the Super Bowl and New Years Eve. The staff was very nice.”

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