Center Grove INSPIRE Program

Jennifer Casselman, who teaches the Inspire Program class at Center Grove, says the class is offered for juniors and seniors in the life skills department.

“They work on different career modules. We’ve got food service, general office assistant, retail stock, and caregiving. They work on different English and math skills related to those careers,” Casselman said.

This is the second year the inspire program has been offered and Casselman explains how it began.

“It started with a grant though the conjunction of special services of Johnson County and we got quite a bit of money to purchase the curriculum and revamp the life skills course offerings because of that grant. The grant also helped pay for a vocational program at Franklin College,” Casselman said.

There are typically about eight to twelve students in a class. The English class, where they work on specific career modules, meets everyday in the afternoon. The math class assembles every other day in the afternoon.

Outside of school, the Inspire Program students visit nursing homes and other places in order to gain first hand experience.

“In the past, we have gone to restaurants to observe people waiting on customers and how they do customer service. We have also visited retail stores,” Kay Fugate, one of the teachers that work with the children, said. “They learned about customer service and taking care of customers and how to be a cashier and so on and so forth so they do a lot of hands on things outside of school.”

Senior Ali Callahan is one of the Inspire Program students and next year she hopes to be attending Franklin College.

“I am thinking about maybe taking a music class or maybe like a P.E. class,” Callahan said. “In the future I maybe want to work at summer camp or be an assistant director and work in an office.”

There are many types of jobs in the world, and through the inspire program many doors are opened for students as they pursue their future careers.