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Considerate Café and Learning to Grow Gardens Win State Award

posted Jan 13, 2020, 10:42 AM by The School District of Oconee County, SC
The Hamilton Career Center Transition Program operates two school-based enterprises, the Considerate Café and the Learning to Grow Gardens.  The mission of these programs is to assist transition students to become contributing members of society through education in the areas of employability skills, independent living skills, social skills and self-determination.  Working in the school-based enterprises provide students with opportunities to practice the skills learned in the classroom in a simulated work environment.

These programs were jointly awarded the "Business of the Year" award by the SC Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Career Development and Transition at the annual Transition Alliance of South Carolina (TASC) state conference held in November 2019.  TASC's mission is "working together to increase successful post-secondary transition outcomes for youth with disabilities through active inter-agency collaboration."  The HCC Transition Program was one of only 5 schools in the upstate region selected to present at the conference as a model school-based enterprise.  Both the Considerate Café and Learning to Grow Gardens also had interactive booths at the conference where students interacted with conference attendees, explaining what each enterprise does, selling homemade items from the garden and café, and serving delicious samples at a "tasting table" - which was a huge hit with conference attendees.

Faculty and staff of the café and gardens, along with the 10th grade students in the classes that operate the café and gardens, received the award on behalf of the Transition Program.  Melissa Rosier, SDOC Transition Specialist; Marge Bright, SDOC Director of Special Education; and Dr. Sandra Sloan, SDOC School Board Member were also present at the awards presentation.  When asked about the award, Melissa Rosier said, "We did not know that we would be winning an award.  We were just happy to be there to promote all of the hard work that our faculty, staff and students do each week.  We are very proud to say that we have the only model in the state of a garden who supplies food to our café, and who has a café that is open to the public like we are."

Considerate Café is located in Hamilton Career Center and is open most Fridays during the school year from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm.  Weekly menus are available on the Considerate Café Facebook page.