Angela Reinhardt / Photo
Pickens High School’s special education students take turns adding ingredients to make a batch of cookie dough for the Dragon Snack program, funded in part by the state’s Innovation Fund Tiny Grant.
On a recent afternoon, the smell of fresh baked cookies filled the Dragon Snack Shack at Pickens High School, where special education students were busy measuring, pouring, and mixing up the week’s batch of goodies - oatmeal peanut butter cookies.
“We’ll do muffins, cookies, and other types of treats each week,” said special ed teacher Diane Hicks, who along with teacher Darya Schmidt wrote and received a $6,500 grant through the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement for their Dragon Table program, which has four project areas where special ed students develop a variety of life and business skills.
Through the Dragon Snack program, special ed students make different snacks each week for the 78 teachers signed up. They develop a shopping list, and learn other skills like packaging and delivering the snack. Eventually they will prepare two snacks a week and teachers will get to “order” which one they want ahead of time.
Through Assistant for Hire, students help teachers with tasks like filing, sharpening pencils, recycling, and delivering packages from the school office.
CTI students will provide assistance through Dragons Celebrate, where students will help design and make buttons that are sold to teachers.
“In addition to all those skills they are leaning, these students are usually more isolated from the rest of the students and teachers and this program is a way for us to interact more,” Hick said.
A website is currently being developed for the Dragon Table program that will allow teachers to place orders for the items students make.
“This way they will also get to learn how to take and fill those online orders,” Hicks said. “
The Pickens County School District was one of six grant award winners in the state. Gov. Nathan Deal announced the winners in October.
“The Innovation Fund Tiny Grant unites top educators to prepare students to engage in today’s most important academic areas,” said Deal. “As we invest in young minds and encourage them to reach their fullest potential, we must also invest in opportunities to develop and implement innovative classroom methods. Congratulations to the award winners and we look forward to seeing the impact each Tiny Grant will have on the futures of Georgia’s students.”