Last year, through focus groups, research, and evaluations, Cookie Cart redesigned and refocused the classroom training curriculum to move it from a subject based format to a experiential format that provides youth employees with what they need to know when they need to know it. The training is highly interactive, engaging our youth employees through individual and group learning strategies that complement and enhance their work experience, and lead them toward mastery of skills needed to be successful on the job, in their lives outside of Cookie Cart, and in securing, maintaining and thriving in future employment.
Participants move through the following three phases of classroom training as a cohort:
The lessons in foundations focus on helping new Cookie Cart recruits understand and develop the skills they need to be successful on the job. This includes relatively functional competencies such as safety, hygiene and basic employee rights and responsibilities, and more nuanced topics such as communication with supervisors and peers, dealing with conflict, and character building.
Once participants have successfully completed the Foundations lessons, they move on to Leadership. For some youth these lessons will culminate in being promoted to Cart Captain. The focus is on critical thinking, becoming a peer leader and mentor, resolving conflicts with others and between others, and more advance communication, including sales, marketing, and customer service.
These lessons prepare young people to transition out of their positions at Cookie Cart and into a next job. Youth are encouraged to think about and explore possibilities, and look for jobs that are a good fit for their interests, skills, strengths, goals and values. Each lesson walks participants through a part of the job seeking process (searching, applying, interviewing, follow-up) using real-life examples and role plays.
In addition to these three phases are classroom workshops on customer service and financial literacy, which are critical to the wraparound curriculum, and are assigned at the facilitator’s discretion.
Stay tuned to our social media to see updates on the curriculum, including first hand accounts from youth employees in the classes!