Spotlight: Community partners
The scene: early spring 2021, an office in Maple Grove
Farmers market organizers have responded to dozens of vendor inquiries. We’ve reviewed paperwork and created site plans. Public health restrictions are still in place, but officials are starting to sound more optimistic. The Power of Produce kids’ program has been on pause for a full year and we would love to bring it back. But–everything is uncertain and staffing is short. How to proceed?
Enter Angels, stage right
Help arrives in the form of Eileen Baker and her team from the Osseo School District’s Community-Based Vocational Assessment and Training Program. Eileen, along with her colleagues and students, cheerfully loaded up all of our bulky supplies. They prepared 1,600 Power of Produce bags for distribution at market. This was an enormous task that we couldn’t have completed on our own. We are so grateful!
Eileen describes the program in this way:
“The Community-Based Vocational Assessment and Training (CBVAT) program is a part of the Osseo Area School District. We serve students from Maple Grove, Osseo, and Park Center high schools.
Students are bussed during the school day to CBVAT where they learn vocational and employability skills. The goal for our students is to have successful competitive integrated long-term employment in a job that best suits their strengths, aptitudes, and interests.
While at the CBVAT site, students engage in hands-on work tasks for local charities including the Maple Grove Farmers Market, Special Olympics, HCMC, Junior Achievement, Second Stork, and Help at Your Door. They also do paid work for local vendors.
Once students have gained the necessary employment skills for paid or volunteer work in the community, a work coordinator from CBVAT will locate jobs or volunteer experiences in the community that will further challenge the students. Job trainers from CBVAT support students as they learn their specific job tasks and get to know their co-workers, supervisors, and interact with customers.”
Interested in collaborating with CBVAT? Reach out to Eileen Baker at BakerE@District279.org. Please tell her the Maple Grove Farmers Market sent you!