Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Everyone Wins with a Children's Fund Basic Needs TinyGrant

Magazine article National Association of School Psychologists. Communique

Everyone Wins with a Children's Fund Basic Needs TinyGrant

Article excerpt

Late last spring, I evaluated an îevi-year-old graduating senior for his triennial special education review at Bangor High School in Bangor, Maine. Robert (not his real name) seemed like a very friendly young man, a bit naive, and a hard worker who put forth his best effort as I tested him. My impressions were later borne out by the Cooperative Education (COOP) and Vocational Educational Coordinator who had Robert in his COOP class. Robert talked of his plans for the future after graduation, which included attending a local technical college to continue his studies in auto bodywork and auto detailing, and his hope that he would be able to attend college, because his family had very little money. The limited financial resources was very clear to me as Robert was dressed somewhat shabbily with clothing that was worn and very soiled. Enter the Children's Fund Basic Needs TinyGrant ($200) that I could apply for and use to buy some clothing for Robert if he were interested.

Not wanting to ask Robert myself for fear of offending him because I hardly knew him, I asked the COOP coordinator, who also doubles as the varsity football coach, if he would speak to Robert about his interest in having some new clothing of his own choosing. Much to my pleasure, Robert was very enthusiastic about the idea and it was decided that I would take him shopping one day after school. Before we left, I gave Robert the choice of Walmart, where he could get more clothing because of the lower prices, or Kohl's, where we could use discount coupons and get better qualitymerchandise. Robert said that he hadnever gone clothes shopping in this manner, and would prefer Kohl's. After making a list of items, off we went.

As we entered the store, Robert was overwhelmed by the variety of styles and the quality and cost of the clothing. I assured him that the discounts would defray some of the cost and that he should just look for what he liked and we'd sort out the cost later. As he went through the racks, he was like a kid in a candy store, liking so many of the items, showing them to me, and having a difficult time making his choices. Kohl's has a large selection of Chaps clothing which tends to be expensive and as Robert went through these racks, he said, "These are for the expensive people because they can afford it." Knowing that Robert's handicapping condition was speech/language impairment, I knew exactly what he meant by "expensive people" as he was referring to people of obvious financial means. …

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