Montgomery JH Jolly Trolley raises money to support campus Angel Tree students

The Jolly Trolley can be seen on campus at Montgomery JH each Friday, selling snacks and drinks to staff to raise money for their program’s Community Based Instruction (CBI) opportunities. The Functional Academics and Life Skills students receive the opportunity of service, expanding their social skills while working together to interact with the Montgomery JH staff that purchases from their cart.

Seeing a need on their campus and an opportunity for a community service project, Life Skills teachers Kristal Enyart and David Donenfeld helped their students add a Hot Chocolate Bar to their menu for the previous two Fridays, with the students using the proceeds to adopt two Angle Tree students.

“Doing Jolly Trolley, the kids get to learn so much interacting with the general ed population,” Mr. Donenfeld said. “But with this opportunity, they are also getting to learn to give back.”

Students spent time practicing how to measure the water and hot chocolate, while also separating and organizing inventory, decorating the hot chocolate bar and developing the skills to properly greet teachers and staff.

After the money was raised, the students were taken on a CBI trip to Walmart to shop for their Angel Tree students. With the direction and support of teachers and paraprofessionals that joined them for shopping, the students followed the wish lists, helped pick the best gifts and even used voting methods when everyone didn’t agree on the right shoe or pant selection. Working together as a team they filled carts with gifts and wrapping supplies, as well as Jolly Trolley supplies for this week’s service.

“Taking our students shopping allowed them to practice their social skills and shopping within a budget,” Mrs. Enyart said. “Most importantly, they were able to learn about giving to others.”

When the shopping was completed, students earned a Pizza Shack lunch as their payment for the Jolly Trolley job, rewarding their hard work. They returned to campus and spent the afternoon wrapping the gifts and celebrating a job well done.

“This project was a win-win-win for all involved,” Mr. Donenfeld said. “The students win with this experience, our Angel tree students are gifted with needs and wants, and we get to be a part of something great with our kids.”

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