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CTA students learn life skills on AFCU-funded shopping trip

A recent shopping trip for Jordan Valley School’s Transition Academy served as a step forward in the students’ efforts to become productive participants in the community. The shopping excursion, sponsored by America First Credit Union, not only resulted in new footwear, but also assisted the students as they put into practice independent-living and financial-literacy skills.

Teacher Carrie Taylor said the 18- to 22-year-old students spend their days learning to transition to the next stage of their lives. To aid in that process, from Monday to Friday, the students, accompanied by teachers and aides, leave the well-known hallways of Jordan Valley, CSD’s school for students with severe disabilities, to go on planned adventures to various venues. Using public transportation, they make trips to libraries, museums, and grocery stores. They also work weekly in the Canyons Technical Education Center’s greenhouse.

One the challenges has been that many of the CTA students didn’t have proper footwear for inclement-weather days, Taylor said. Either the students suffered cold feet during the activity, she said, or their shoes remained soggy after they returned to the school. The footwear problem was solved, though, when America First, one of Canyons District’s community partners, stepped up to sponsor a shopping trip.

“The weather is so unpredictable – you just never know what we’re going to run into,” Taylor said. “To have good shoes that we can keep at the school is going to be absolutely fantastic. This has been so exciting for the students.”

Robin Collett, CSD’s Director of Special Education called the learning activity, which resulted in hand-picked footwear for the students, “a complete success.”

At Target, students found the shoe department and were able to select for themselves a pair of boots or sturdy shoes. Flashing grins, they combed through the footwear, looking for their sizes and favorite colors. Once all the students had chosen a pair, they made their way to the front of the store to make their purchases.

Most of the CTA students had never before used a credit or debit card, however. With a little help from teachers and aides, each student was able to approach a cashier, present the item they sought to purchase, and complete the shopping transaction with the pre-paid Visa cards provided by AFCU.

“Thanks to America First Credit Union, the students didn’t just get the gift of a new pair of boots,” said Collett. “Through this experience they were given a chance to learn some vital financial literacy and independent-living skills. We can’t thank America First Credit Union enough for helping us to help our students in this way.”

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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