Local Girl Scouts donate games, prizes to special needs students

By: Joshua Gordon | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published June 6, 2018

 Speech pathologist Eve Ratliff, left, plays the Crazy Toaster pop-up game with Nicholas Holmquist, 10, at Glen H. Peters School in Macomb Township June 1. Games that help develop core vocabulary and toys were donated to the school by five local Girl Scouts, who raised $500 through cookie sales.

Speech pathologist Eve Ratliff, left, plays the Crazy Toaster pop-up game with Nicholas Holmquist, 10, at Glen H. Peters School in Macomb Township June 1. Games that help develop core vocabulary and toys were donated to the school by five local Girl Scouts, who raised $500 through cookie sales.

Photo by Brandy Baker

 Sydney Schlaf, 11, plays with bubbles at Glen H. Peters School. The school serves students with cognitive impairments, and a local Girl Scouts roop donated $500 worth of games and toys that help with building the students’ communication skills.

Sydney Schlaf, 11, plays with bubbles at Glen H. Peters School. The school serves students with cognitive impairments, and a local Girl Scouts roop donated $500 worth of games and toys that help with building the students’ communication skills.

Photo by Brandy Baker

 Ashlyn Logan, 9, plays a race car game at Glen H. Peters School in Macomb Township June 1.

Ashlyn Logan, 9, plays a race car game at Glen H. Peters School in Macomb Township June 1.

Photo by Brandy Baker

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Each year, Girl Scouts are out in their communities trying to sell cookies, with a majority of the proceeds going to support the organization.

But this year, five Iroquois Middle School eighth-graders wanted to raise money to help others in their community. So Keri Anderson, Kathryn Hintz, Laura Jordan, Bronwyn Lyons and Krysta Olszewski set out to sell cookies to help students at Glen H. Peters School in Macomb Township.

Glen H. Peters School is part of the Macomb Intermediate School District and serves students with cognitive impairments from ages three to 26.

In total, the five girls raised $500 and used the money to purchase games that could help students at Glen Peters with communication skills, as well as prizes that are awarded to the students for good behavior.

The Girl Scouts had a chance to deliver the donations to the school on May 25 and meet some of the students and teachers who would benefit.

“It was a lot of fun with all the teachers and principals being thrilled to see us, and the kids couldn’t keep their eyes off the games and toys we brought them,” Laura Jordan said. “We realize we are lucky and we should help the kids that need more help than us. We thought it would be nice to help other kids in our community.”

Maria Jordan, Laura’s mother and the co-leader of Girl Scout Troop 70390, said the opportunity came about when one of her coworkers suggested reaching out to someone at Glen Peters.

The girls sold cookies through individual sales as well as through cookies boosts, where they sell in front of different stores. Maria leads the troop along with co-leader Kelly Peacock-Anderson.

A lot of the products purchased for the students are to help with the nonverbal kids at Glen Peters, Maria said. And the prizes range from kids pools to balls that the students can get for treating others kindly and having good behavior at school.

Maria said it was a great experience to take the girls to the school as they didn’t have much exposure to students with special needs, so they were able to see why the students needed some place like Glen Peters, as well as the games they were bringing.

“To see them grow from when they were little kids when I started working with them in kindergarten to almost being in high school and using money for others, it was nice to see they wanted to do that,” Maria said. “Instead of activities for themselves, they used that money to purchase something for those kids, so I am very proud of them.”

Glen Peters Principal Jennifer Shelton said she was surprised that the girls were able to raise $500 for the school. The games will be great for the nonverbal students, she said, as the students learn better when playing games and it helps to reinforce what they are being taught.

“I was overwhelmed with what they were able to raise and that they thought of us and our students and wanted to help,” Shelton said. “It was very humbling that they chose our students and reached out to give to them.”

Seeing how happy the kids were, Laura said her and her troop were happy to be able to help those students continue to grow in their communication skills.

“Some of the kids can’t even talk, so we were able to help them be able to communicate what they are feeling and help them learn,” she said. “Sometimes that is harder for them, so it felt good that we could help them communicate easier.”