Group of students in classroom

Students in transitional work readiness and self-contained severe disabilities classes have launched the Berry-ABLE smoothie shop at Forest Park High School. They prepare smoothies based on orders from teachers and then deliver them during lunch periods. General education students also support the smoothie shop, assisting with taking orders, and running deliveries. 

The Berry – ABLE Smoothie Shop provides students with disabilities with job–related skills and responsibilities to develop and support employable skills. Instruction is based on work skills used by the Virginia Department of Education 21st Century Workplace Readiness Skills for the Commonwealth.  

The students incorporate augmented and alternative communication technologies to take orders and communicate to the smoothie makers. Students learn about budgeting and purchase items for the smoothie shop. They also learn to analyze profits and losses.  

Rhonda Stanton, teacher of students with intellectual disabilities, explained, “They work on language, they work on social skills, money management, teamwork.” 

"My favorite part is when we pass out the smoothies and get a smile from the teachers,” shared Samantha, a student who works at the Berry-ABLE smoothie shop.  

Efforts like the Berry-ABLE shop support learning and achievement for all in preparing all students with workforce skills.