Woodland Middle School Student Dough-nates to Special Education Class

It can be hard to teach kids real-life lessons in time, money, and giving. Heck, when my kids were little I’m pretty sure there were times when “five more minutes” sometimes meant five, and sometimes meant ten. :)

Celina Green wanted her 11-year-old daughter, Dakota Wilcox, to learn a valuable lesson about giving back. “Kids should learn what it means to put in the work to earn the satisfaction of knowing what you did will benefit others,” said Green. “As children, we don’t realize the amount of hard work it can take to purchase necessities and provide for others, and I wanted Dakota to learn that lesson.”

Celina encouraged Dakota, a student at Woodland Middle School, to engage in one of her favorite pastimes – baking fantastic sugar cookie bars – and to use the proceeds from selling those cookies to help her little brother’s preschool at Woodland Primary School, taught by Patricia “Patty” Morgan, an Early Interventions Specialist and Special Education Teacher for Woodland Public Schools. “Initially, Dakota did give me a bit of a frowny face when I told her that the money wouldn’t be hers,” Celina recalled. “However, as soon as the orders started coming in, Dakota was super-excited and would ask me every day, ‘How many orders came in today?’”

Dakota comes from a family of bakers and discovered her love of baking over the past year. Dakota’s cookie sales provided more than $600 in new learning toys and other needed equipment for the preschool program. “Seeing your child being passionate about something that could very well be part of their future life goals is an incredibly great feeling,” said Celina. “Baking is a creative outlet for Dakota and it’s definitely been a confidence booster when she hears from customers how amazing her cookies taste.”

Woodland Primary School’s preschool program serves children with behavioral and developmental issues including autism, Down syndrome, speech delay and others. Patty Morgan and her team of paraeducators serves students between three and five years of age. “We regularly have a wide range of ages in our classes and accommodate a wide range of developmental stages,” she explained. “We’ve developed different lessons and approaches to engage all of the students we serve whether those lessons are taught musically, verbally, through physical action or a combination of styles.”

Some of the new equipment purchased by the cookie sales proceeds include a Rifton Activity Chair, a specially-designed chair that provides versatile and adaptable seating for children with disabilities; a new music stereo used during daily lessons; and a wide variety of supplies and learning toys. The generous donation overwhelmed Patty, “I was floored by Dakota’s hard work and generosity as well as her amazing mom, Celina.”

For Celina, the life lesson she intended to teach Dakota was a huge success. “The results turned out far greater than I could have ever hoped,” she said. “Miss Patty is an amazing teacher to my son, and I’m so happy we were able to do something special for her and the class.”

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