By providing their students with safety training, educators gain the satisfaction of knowing they have educated their students academically and improved their students' safety and employability.





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Where Are They Now? Catching up With the 2016 Safety Educator of the Year 

 

At CareerSafe, we’re more than just photo ops and trophies. We are committed to improving safety education among all youth, so that they can go into the workplace more confident, capable and employable. That’s why we reached out to our 2016 Safety Educator of the Year Winner, Sharon Singleton of Bonnie Brae Residential Treatment Center in New Jersey, to see how winning has helped her improve her students’ safety.

To learn more about Sharon Singleton and her school, Bonnie Brae Residential Treatment Center, take a look at our 2016 Safety Educator of the Year Press Release and April 2016 Classroom Highlight.

Q: What’s going on with you and the work experience program at Bonnie Brae? Are there any updates since we last saw you?

A: We are in the process of starting a computer recycling program with some of the award money [$5000 from winning Safety Educator of the Year]. It was initially for developmentally disabled adults, and we have never done it before with kids who have emotional or behavioral disorders. We’re hoping it will teach them skills, like dexterity and hand-eye coordination, so that they can move forward in life. Another idea that we may use the money for is a Christmas tree farm.

Our safety officer position has also been doing well [over this past year]. This is a position where students go around and check the buildings and grounds to make sure things are safe. They create a report and then bring it to the safety committee [which includes directors and school staff] that meets once a month. 

Q: That’s exciting! And how do you continue to make safety a priority in these programs? 

A: Anything we are trying to do, we are trying to instill safety values and soft skills. Soft skills go along with safety. If you are communicating appropriately and are on top of things, then safety will automatically go hand in hand.

My colleague and I are also in the process of hiring for safety officers or ‘van service technician.’ We are trying to instill safety in the vans we drive the boys around in. Every time I drive it, I pull over and do seatbelts checks; I don’t care how old they are. These van service technicians will be responsible for maintaining the safety of the vans. 

Q: Why are safety skills and CTE in the work experience programs so important to your students?

A: Our kids come from the system. They are missing chunks of education academia, and they don’t prosper in a traditional classroom setting. They need the experiential learning experience that the work experience programs provide to succeed. 

The way our programs have been designed really benefit the kids in terms of career exploration. They learn some vocational skills, some soft skills, but we really just want to give them a variety of different experiences, and in that instilling values of safety, cooperation, being on time, motivation to learn and more. 

 

 

CareerSafe wants to recognize teachers and CTE directors around the country that are taking strides to educate youth in workplace safety. Each month, CareerSafe will introduce you to an educator that has been implementing CareerSafe courses in his or her classroom. These educators strive to make a difference one student at a time. Nominate a teacher today!

Please congratulate our past winners!