Photos by Rome City Schools
Do you ever wonder how Barron Stadium is prepared for the enormous events that host around thousands upon thousands of guests from all over the state? Or how it stays so clean, even after these events?
We can thank Brandon Johnson, Special Education Teacher at Rome High School and his Community Based Instruction (CBI) class for this hefty task and phenomenal weekly accomplishment.
Community Based Instruction (CBI) is an effective instructional method for teaching, in real-life settings and under the supervision of educators, the skills students will need for functional daily living as productive adults.
CBI also helps students develop age-appropriate skills for functioning outside the school environment, by preparing them for successful transition to adulthood after graduation and helping students to live independently.
The students in Johnson’s CBI Program spend their time at Barron Stadium making sure all stands, and concessions are ready for the night’s events.
“When Rome High took over Barron Stadium, I had this idea in mind to serve as a workplace for my students,” explained Johnson. “My overall goal with these students in CBI is to help transition them from school to a productive work setting. We have students go from my CBI class and working with us here at Barron Stadium to a full-time job at the Lowe’s Distribution Center. It just gives them skills that they can use outside of school and in the workforce,” said Johnson.
Although Barron Stadium seems to serve as the student’s favorite venue, Johnson’s CBI class also travels to Longhorn’s Steakhouse, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Moe’s Barbecue, Mellow Mushroom and more to assist and offer their services.
“My students really seem to enjoy what they do,” smiled Johnson. “I know they take a lot of pride in taking care of Barron. Barron is a big part of the city, so being able to let these students take care of it and call it theirs means a lot.”
According to Johnson, just last year, Barron Stadium hosted over 200 events.
“My CBI students are the behind the scenes of events like graduation, Corky Kell, Peach State, etc. Without these kids and this program, putting on those events would have been very difficult,” said Johnson.
Orlando Dorsey, CBI student, could be found working diligently unloading and loading all of the food to be stocked in the concession stand before the night’s game. “I am setting up stuff for the big game tonight,” said Dorsey. “I also work at Barron on Saturdays, too. We have a lot of responsibilities, but it is a lot of fun. To me, Barron Stadium is my home. I am proud to be a part of it.”
One of Johnson’s hardest workers, Maurice Sullivan, knows the facilities at Barron Stadium so well that he could walk the entire facility with his eyes closed. “I enjoy everything we do here at Barron Stadium. This is my first job, and it has been really successful in helping me transition in to the workplace,” explained Sullivan.
Be sure to thank the students of CBI next time you attend an event at Barron Stadium.