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  • Writer's pictureThe Hambrick Foundation

Special needs students take pride in school store

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

Special needs students at Lincoln Elementary School in Morton, Illinois recently opened Pride Pals, a school store that is expected to serve more than 500 customers this year.

Scroggs selects items from Pride Pals at its grand opening.

In March, Bethany Scroggs received a THF grant to help her students start the store.

“My students learn from consistent practice and application of skills that are developed through

real-life meaningful activities and have the motivation of positive social interactions,” she wrote in her application. “This is a creative idea that offers my students a different way to learn.”

Scroggs was the store’s first customer when it opened October 6.

"To see the grand opening of Pride Pals warms my heart beyond belief," she said. "I love to see our students working together and learning with a common goal in mind. What a joy it is to see our students serving one another and celebrating each small step along the way – all while building friendships."

Kindergartners and first grade students who shopped the grand opening event found the store stocked items including erasers, sunglasses, keychains and fidgets. All items cost $1 and proceeds go toward community trips and resources for the students.

Scroggs, who has since accepted a different position within Morton Community Unit School District 709, passed the reigns on to Amanda Bunting, Occupational Therapy Assistant and Molly Winkler, Lincoln School Social Worker. The two have worked with students to bring the idea of the school store to fruition.

In a combined statement, Bunting and Winkler said, "The pals let their personalities shine as they greeted kindergarten and first grade customers and were enthusiastic about the whole experience from start to finish! The store will have over 500 customers this year and we are thrilled to see our students practicing social skills, creating a budget and running their business!"


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