When Jordan Valley PTA President Betty Shaw applied to receive a $1,500 grant from Mountain America Credit Union, she asked all of the school’s teachers to make a wish list of items that could help them in their classrooms.
After Shaw officially received the grant Tuesday at the school in a presentation that included representatives from Mountain America Credit Union, Canyons Director of Special Education Misty Suarez, Principal Stacey Nofsinger, Canyons Education Foundation Development Officer Denise Haycock and PTA Region 17 Associate Director Terri Francis, she was emotional with gratitude.
“It will do so much good for the school,” Shaw said. “It makes me cry and makes my heart happy because it can do so much good for these students and teachers. If we can help students transition here, what a great life they can have.”
Some of the items on the teachers’ lists included a ball pit, a shelf for a ceramic oven and items that help with sensory development for Jordan Valley’s population of students with severe special needs. Now that the money is certain, Shaw says the school will be able to determine exactly how best to use the funds for things that can’t be funded through federal, state or District money.
Mountain America offered the grant to PTAs throughout Utah as a way to give back to the community. This year, the credit union distributed 10 grants.
“In the credit union world, it’s about people helping people,” said Mountain America Credit Union’s Eric Buchanan. “This is a win for everyone. It’s humbling and exhilarating.”
Teachers at Jordan Valley use a wide variety of tools to help their severely disabled students, said Nofsinger.
With students who have such a wide range of special needs, solutions that may help one student with a challenge don’t necessarily help another. Grants like this help teachers expand their resources and add a meaningful contribution to the school.
“It just gave me goosebumps,” Nofsinger said. “Out of the goodness of people’s hearts, they just want these students to experience the most they can. People have a special spot in their heart for this school, and that’s just awesome.”