Shanna Moller is the special need teacher at Bennett Elementary in Sun Valley. She talked to us today about why the Disney trip is not only fun for kids, but it's a cumulation of skills the students have been working on for the last nine months and longer.
"Social Skills, following directions, getting on an airplane, ordering their food. And also we want them to have fun. They don't have a lot of fun in their lives"
Ten years ago, Moller and her team teacher Joanna Trimble decided to start taking their special needs kids to Disneyland as a reward, of course, but to also help them implement those skills of impulse control, appropriate behavior, and social skills. For nine months they raised money, they made hotel reservations, meal and ground travel arraignments....and yes, they paid their airfare. This year, as in the past, the carrier was Aloha Airlines.
Joanna Trimble says she got the news about the airline this weekend by cell phone.
" Ms. Moller called me. Ah we were going to go no matter what. We would figure out a way to go."
Undaunted, the two teachers along with another special education teacher put seven thousand dollars on each of her credit cards to pay for airfare with another carrier.
They've had to make some concessions as well as to what the kids will be doing down in Anaheim. Of course, the kids know nothing about any of this. The teachers say it would be tough for them to understand the trip was a no go-- forget the bankruptcy, accommodations or credit cards. At this point all they know is they'll be leaving Monday morning. But what the public should know is that the teachers have gone above and beyond and they need some help with reimbursement to ensure that this tradition can continue.
If you'd like to help the kids out call the school's principal Michael Henry at 775-674-4444