Desiree Gonzalez staff writer
Getting hands on and creative, students in the special education program have been making an array of greeting cards for the past two months in preparation for launching their card business.
For many years the campus has been utilizing a service in which special education students go to teachers’ classes to collect excess paper for shredding. With the help of creative staff members, the students have used all of the paper to create their own card business, with messages ranging from “Happy Birthday” to “Happy Mother’s Day”.
“Students are involved every step of the way. Once they have a card design, then students take the [collected] paper, they shred it and then they make the [card] paper,” Prime program teacher Elizabeth Schwab said. “It’s really great because it involves them in working on multi-step tasks. They have to follow directions and be professional because we treat it like work. It’s a job and they can work a lot on sorting, matching, cutting skills and gluing.”
Instead of completing task boxes that helps students with vocational skills, Schwab believes this business has enabled students to work on these skills when it comes to working with money and maintaining a job.
“This actually puts meaning into it and it’s an accomplishment. It’s cool, it’s a business and I know once we start selling them to people, it’s gonna be really exciting,” she said.
With a mom who works in fashion design, student Alex Nguyen is inspired with many ideas for the card designs.
“It’s really fun. We do a lot of cards, we customize and we sell them, and it’s a lot of help from people and staff who can support them,” Nguyen said. “I love the cards because you can make your own and then you can design. I was thinking to take that [idea] but also [use it] in different ways, like design your names, design your pictures…and anything from that and then you can hand them out to people who can love it and take it with them, so it’s great.”
With the intention of launching this month, cards will be ready to purchase during lunch or nutrition in bungalow V 27 for two dollars to all students and teachers. Once cards are up for sale,all profits will go to the Best Buddies Club to help fund the students’ fields trips or other experiences.
“Everyone needs a last minute birthday card. We kind of make it convenient because you can come to us and buy those things,” Schwab said. “It’s a deal you can’t beat. I mean, you’re going to pay way more than that at a store. And, it’s made on recycled paper with a great meaning behind it and it’s student made, so we are very excited.”
With the hopes of gaining support from fellow peers, Nguyen hopes students will buy a card and share it.
“They will be shocked, they will be amazed,” Nguyen said. “They will be loving it.”