Randy Smith Middle School
"I am a second-year special education teacher, but I have been working as a paraprofessional in special education in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District for 10 years. Currently, I teach students with Autism and behavioral needs at Randy Smith Middle School. I strongly believe in supporting student’s growth and independence by teaching social and life skills in the classroom, then giving opportunities to practice these skills in the real world.
To support this goal, my classes participate in community learning opportunities weekly. We do activities such as swimming, going to restaurants and fast food eateries, bowling, museums, and going to the Library. This program helps my students use the skills we work on in the classroom in real life situations in the community.
One of the problems we've run into is getting enough money to support these community learning opportunities. Our school and district does provide us with yearly funds, but it is not enough to cover weekly trips, and we do not want to further burden our student’s families by asking for more money. To supplement these funds, we fundraise throughout the school year by doing activities such as running concessions during sports game as well as running booths and selling food at school socials. If some of the items were to be donated it would help with our fundraising we could further extend the funds available to provide more community-based instruction to the students we serve.