Super Succulents

Functional skills classes in three schools across the city started Succulent Enterprises togive their students real-life experiences.

Junior+Zachary++Caylor+works+hard+on+Tuesdays+to+plant%2C+care+for+and+sell+succulents+for+the+business.++%E2%80%9CThe+succulents+are+really+nice%2C%E2%80%9D+Caylor+said.++%E2%80%9CThey+stand+out.%E2%80%9D
Junior Zachary  Caylor works hard on Tuesdays to plant, care for and sell succulents for the business.  “The succulents are really nice,” Caylor said.  “They stand out.”

Junior Zachary Caylor works hard on Tuesdays to plant, care for and sell succulents for the business. “The succulents are really nice,” Caylor said. “They stand out.”

Junior Zachary Caylor works hard on Tuesdays to plant, care for and sell succulents for the business. “The succulents are really nice,” Caylor said. “They stand out.”

Diana Dudenhoeffer, News Editor

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Special Education teacher Scarlet Cormack says that 90% of people like the students in the functional skills classes will never find a job.  Cormack, along with her colleagues, speech pathologist Kim Patterson and behavior analyst Amy Reese are working to change that.      

   “We want to break that statistic.  Special needs students absolutely can do things—they’re not  incapable,” Cormack said.

   Reece and Patterson own a greenhouse called Good Vibes that they started over this past summer.  They introduced their idea to start a business with Springfield’s special needs students to Cormack, and she immediately jumped on board.

   They partnered up with Nova, an agency to provide services to teenagers and adults with autism and other disabilities, to make a company called Succulent Enterprises.

   The Kickapoo chapter of Succulent Enterprises is called Super Succulents, and the special needs students create beautiful succulent arrangements with minimal assistance.

   “Students are shining in many different aspects,” Patterson said.

   The kids work in customer service, sales, clean-up, graphic design and budgeting.

“Everybody can use their own special skills,” she explained.

   The students cut the top of the succulent off and re-pot the rest of the plant before hot gluing the succulent to some moss.  The plants typically live an average of 3-8 weeks after they are purchased.

“Students are shining in  many different aspects.  Everybody can use their own special skills,” speech pathologist Kim Patterson said.

   Patterson is sure that the students working on this project are really benefitting from it, especially since the business has received overwhelming enthusiasm from other students.

   The future of Succulent Enterprises looks promising.  Currently, there are around 50 students at Kickapoo, David Harrison elementary, Carver junior high and Nova’s post-secondary education program involved in the business.

“All students in the functional skills classes are involved, even kids with multiple disabilities,” Cormack said.

   Super Succulents plans to host pop-up sales several times through the school year.  During their fall pumpkin sale on October 20, the Kickapoo chapter alone made more than $800 in sales.

   Cormack, Patterson and Reese are working with Home Depot to reverse the trend that 90% of special needs students will never get a job.  And those who worked for Succulent Enterprises through Nova have the opportunity to get a job at Home Depot in the future.

Cormack said, “Home Depot has been phenomenal.”

The business also provided Succulent Enterprises with their plants at a huge discount.

   Their next planned sale will take place some time during December, and it is open to the public.  The business greatly appreciates support of any kind, whether it be purchasing an arrangement or  following them on their social media handles: Succulent Enterprises on Facebook, @SucculentEnter3 on Twitter and @succulententerprises on Instagram.

   

   

   

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