Tekelia Kelly's CHIPS Learning Services Receives 2nd Grant For Pre-ETS

Thursday, August 3, 2017
Tekelia Kelly's CHIPS Learning Services has been awarded its second grant from the Tennessee Department of Human Services Vocational Rehabilitation Program to provide Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) to students ages 14-22 with disabilities.  The grant, in the amount of $126,720, provides funding for eligible students to attend job and life prep classes, designed for students of all abilities and offered in an inclusive setting.  Students will be screened for eligibility to receive grant funding.
Other students may participate by making payment directly to CHIPS Learning Services. 
As a Community Rehabilitation Provider with the State of Tennessee since 2016, CHIPS received its first grant in May 2017 in the amount of $10,800. Serving students in Hamilton and Bradley counties, the grant helped fund CHIPS' inaugural  Pre-ETS program which was a pilot at Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church June 5-30.  The debut of the program also kicked-off "CHIPS In The Church".
The CHIPS Pre-ETS program interfaces with other CHIPS school-to-work programming. making it an even more comprehensive and inclusive curriculum.  New classes include:  1) Job Exploration, 2) Workplace Readiness, and 3) Self-Advocacy Training and 4) Post-secondary Training and Pre-enrollment Counseling.  Areas of skills development covered in classes include:
Career exploration
Job preparation
Social skills training
Basic literacy skills
Basic computer skills
Employer expectations
Job searching
Workplace readiness
Transition services
Counseling on transition opportunities and post-secondary education
:"The Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act provides funding for Pre-ETS to support the transition of students with disabilities from school to post-school activities, ultimately facilitating competitive integrated employment," officials said.
Parents, guardians, and students interested in participating in the Pre-ETS program should contact their local school's special education department, local Vocational Rehabilitation office or Tekelia C. Kelly at CHIPS Learning Services.  A signed form of consent and proof of student's disability must be submitted for review and referral by Vocational Rehabilitation.
Since 1995, CHIPS has offered education, employment and entrepreneur programs.  The "school-to-work" business operation offers 21st century education that includes learning enrichment, tutoring, academic interventions, STEAM (STEM+Art) project based learning, Technology Education, job and career development, and social skills training.
Founder and CEO Tekelia Kelly, is a native Chattanoogan who started CHIPS in Memphis.  The former engineer works as an education technology consultant who partners with Code.org and Maker Camp. She is a STEAM teaching artist with the Tennessee Arts Commission and performs student ticket subsidy programs for Tennessee schools and learning programs.  She is a member Tennessee Arts Academy and Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute.
Joined by her daughter Rachel Kelly, a licensed school psychologist with an education specialist degree (Ed.S.) and Pre-ETS specialist, CHIPS will also provide special services under its CHIPS 2.0 program. Director Rachel Kelly will support  private clients with individualized learning, post-secondary transition and career plans,  as well as academic intervention, tutoring, assessments, and social/emotional support services.
"With a track record for helping students go 'from school to work more successfully,' Tekelia Kelly worked as an education systems analyst for Provident Companies, where she volunteered as a Provident business consultant for Jr. Achievement.  She was honored with Jr. Achievement's 'Pioneer Award' for her work with senior students at Chattanooga High School and for implementing Jr. Achievement's inaugural Success Skills 2000 career development program in 1998-1999.
"In 2007, Tekelia Kelly was honored with Girls Inc's Unbought Unbossed Award for being one of '14 Women Who've Changed Chattanooga.' She and daughter Rachel also worked extensively with Girls Inc to help empower youth, along with Tekelia Kelly's organization Sisters In Business.Net, which spearheaded community career fairs,  and provided mentoring, networking meetings, lunch-and-learn, business trade show and junior entrepreneur business proposal support.
"In 2015, Tekelia Kelly hosted a Code.org 'Hour of Code' workshop at the Chattanooga Autism Center. In 2016, she ran CHIPS STEAM Summer Enrichment Computer Camp, serving high-functioning students with Aspergers, from high schools in Tennessee and Georgia.  She conducted a week-long Coding camp for Boys To Men at the Highland Center as well as summer, winter, and after-school programs for community children," officials said.
"We are happy to receive our second grant from the Tennessee Department of Human Services Vocational Rehabilitation Program.   We are committed to serving students of all learning styles and abilities; in various learning environments; individually, in groups, and inclusively.  We are happy to partner with the State of Tennessee to provide Pre-ETS to students with disabilities.  This builds on our existing mission and vision, which are to empower students one child at a time from school to work more successfully," said Tekelia Kelly.  
To register for CHIPS Pre-ETS classes, contact your local Vocational Rehabilitation office in Chattanooga/Hamilton County at 423-634-6700; and Cleveland/Bradley
 County at 423-478-0330.   To learn more about CHIPS Learning Services, contact Tekelia C. Kelly at  tekeliakelly@comcast.net.

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