Special Education Class in Middle School Receives Grant

vix middle school grant
First row, from left to right:  Dominick Allgaier, Bailey Hutchinson, Parapro Diane Fleming, Alexia Snyder, Maya Qualls, Whitney Mohney, Austin Junde. Second row, from left to right: Special Education Teacher Jeff Heisler, Assistant Principal Dennis Kirby, Principal Matt VanDussen, Addison Miller. Not pictured: JoEllen Pollack.

By Sue Moore

Diane Fleming, a paraprofessional in Vicksburg’s Middle School, wrote a grant to Midwest Electric & Communications and was awarded $926 to buy supplies for her special education and resource rooms.

The previous special education teacher was in the process of putting together a list of classroom items that would benefit the learning of the students in her classroom. Fleming worked very closely with the teacher, Matt VanDusen, the principal said. “So, when the opportunity arose through this grant to continue working toward adding these supplies to the classroom, she went after it.  Diane is always thinking about how best to meet the needs of her students and to further their learning.”

“This year we will have students with many special needs in our resource room,” Fleming wrote in the grant. “The special education teacher of nearly 10 years has left to work in another district and in doing so, has taken with her most of the classroom items [that she purchased with her own money].”

“If this grant is awarded it would help us provide items beneficial to the many different needs in our classroom such as noise-cancelling headphones for our autistic students, puzzles, games, fidgets, sensory items, comfortable chairs and life skills field trips or projects,” Fleming said.

“We have students with autism, cognitive and learning disabilities. We would love to create an environment of fun learning and valuable life experiences in a classroom where students feel comfortable and have items available to help them succeed in their school day.

Included in Fleming’s list to purchase for her students would be futon-chairs, $250; noise-cancelling headphones, $250; fidgets, $40; wooden puzzles, $60; Bristle blocks, $60; color wonder items, $50; Aqua magic, $50; Find it game, $70; sensory table, $120 and sensory bins, $60. The other funds will be used as needed for life-skill field trips to a local grocery store, bank and restaurants she said.

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