Jacksonville School District 117’s TAP program serves special needs students in the district in a great way that benefits the community. Located in a new home at 30 North Central Park Plaza, the structured environment provides students who have met their high school graduation requirements but still need help building skills to obtain post-secondary independence.
Program Coordinator Bailey Braimeier explains some of the activities the program currently runs at their location. “Right now there are 7 students, and that’s projected to grow as need arises within the district. We have the Crimson Cup and The Spirit Stop that are open every morning, and The Crimson Closet that we fulfill order for the district, and we clean several rooms here at the facilities each day. We do mailings for different businesses. Really, we embrace teachable moments. We sort caps for our caps for benches program. We’re currently trying to get benches in front of our building for people to sit on in the future.”
The Crimson Cup is a coffee shop that offers various pod brewed coffees, teas, and other beverages for affordable prices five days a week. The Spirit Stop has spirit wear that is general to the Crimsons. The Stop is a partnership with the Jacksonville Public Schools Foundation and Outbreak Design. The students learn money skills, customer service, and vocational preparedness. Braimeier says that the students also have worked outside of the building at various locations in town: “They’ve done various things out in the community. We’ve worked at Knollwood, Aaron’s Rental, and various other places in the community.”
The students also partner with The Attic for clothes donations with the Crimson Closet. The closet takes orders from Jacksonville students in need of clothes and sorts and sends out the various donations.
Braimeier says that TAP gives those students a little bit of extra help to older students who need help getting involved in working in the community after high school. She says that a team of people at District 117 make the ultimate decision to place a student into TAP. “It’s an IEP Team decision as to whether they feel this program is appropriate or not. Right now, it serves students with intellectual disabilities, Down Syndrome, Autism, and the more intense needs of the districts. Most students with IEPs can go and enter right into the workforce, go straight to college, or continue their education. These are the kiddos that need just a little bit more.”
To learn more about the TAP program or to donate to the program visit them on the square on North Central Park Plaza or give the program a call at 243-0065 extension 1501.