Goodwill Industries of New Mexico has partnered with Albuquerque Public Schools for a new
offering of its special education program called Shop. The unique program allows students to fix old or damaged furniture found at Goodwill and other local stores and refurbish it with creative and colorful designs.
The school district offers two special education complexes, Aztec and Highlands, which serve students from pre-kindergarten to age 22 who are considered medically fragile, have autism, or have other special needs. The schools offer a number of special education services, including assistive technology, autism resources, mental health, sensory impairment and Child Find.
Because of the students' unique needs and learning styles, the schools often seek alternative learning methods. Most recently, this desire for alternative learning led to the creation of Shop. During Shop, students work with their hands to fix old or damaged furniture and decorate it with creative and colorful designs. The aim is to allow the students to expand their understanding of language to participate in a functional task. The benefit is that revenue from sold furniture will fund field trips for the students.
The schools sourced the furniture and supplies needed for Shop from local sponsors, including Goodwill, Lowe’s, Home Depot and Donor’s Choice. The schools can visit any local Goodwill and select furnishings that meets their criteria. The students have already begun their projects, and the outcome is amazing to see. Goodwill Industries of New Mexico is proud to be a contributor to this extraordinary program!