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Detroit subway special education teacher gets creative after pandemic disrupts jobsite training


(WXYZ) – At the Western Wayne Skill Center, independence is the goal. The Garfield Community School program in Livonia helps students with dementia, aged 18 to 26, learn valuable skills.

“We teach them professional skills, they also learn to solve problems, to work with others, to take direction, to correct their work when they make a mistake and to solve any problems that we as workers encounter. everyday, ”said Amy Munday, teacher at the Western Wayne Skill Center.

Photos courtesy of Skill-ful Designs

Amy, an educator for 15 years, works with the students of the center, generally in the field on various sites. So when the pandemic hit, that on-the-job training stagnated.

“We had to get creative and think, ‘OK, well, we still want to teach them professional skills, how do we do that? She said.

That’s when Amy’s recent basement renovation and her love for DIY projects sparked an idea.

“I started to gain more confidence in myself and say to myself, ‘OK, this is something that maybe I could do with the students,'” said Amy.

Amy says she put a few feelers on the Facebook community pages asking for old furniture, and that’s when Skill-ful Designs was born, a class that teaches students how to transform old furniture. from dull to fabulous.

Detroit subway special education teacher gets creative after pandemic disrupts jobsite training

Photos courtesy of Skill-ful Designs

“We have … remade children’s desks, dressers, coffee tables, end tables. We do smaller craft projects, the Solo box stand for parties, welcome signs,” a she declared. “We have several pieces at the same time. We have the sanding going on in the carpentry shop, we have students here painting or putting on poly, waxing pieces.

And what was old is new again.

Detroit subway special education teacher gets creative after pandemic disrupts jobsite training

Photos courtesy of Skill-ful Designs

Detroit subway special education teacher gets creative after pandemic disrupts jobsite training

Photos courtesy of Skill-ful Designs

“When we go back and look at the before and after photos, it’s a drastic change for some of the pieces. So they get… that moment, ‘ahhhhh,’ Amy said.

Detroit subway special education teacher gets creative after pandemic disrupts jobsite training

Photos courtesy of Skill-ful Designs

Darrien Daske, a student at the Western Wayne Skill Center, agrees that the transformation is satisfying and that he feels he has done a “very good job”.

These beautifully renovated pieces are then sold on the Skill-ful Designs Facebook page, with the money going to fund events and activities for the students.

Amy says she appreciates the local support, shouting out to the Plymouth Home Depot and Behr Paint for helping their efforts, among others.

“I feel very lucky to be a part of Skill-ful Designs because the community has embraced it. The students benefit from it, ”she said.

Detroit subway special education teacher gets creative after pandemic disrupts jobsite training

Photos courtesy of Skill-ful Designs

While Amy says she hopes Skill-ful Designs continues after the pandemic, she says the Western Wayne Skill Center is still looking for additional community partners for this on-the-job training. To learn more about the Western Wayne Skill Center, click here.

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