One School at a Time: St. Jude Catholic School Wins Martin’s Grant

Published: Apr. 18, 2023 at 6:14 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - If you get hungry while at work, there’s usually a vending machine close by. At St. Jude Catholic School in South Bend, the teachers can rely on deliveries made right to their classrooms.

It’s a creative way to teach students with special needs some extra skills, and Martin’s Super Markets just helped them out with a $1,000 grant.

The school’s utility cart is a learning opportunity.

“We, like, push it around and bring it to resource, and we take orders and put snacks in it,” said Olivia Beckham, a St. Jude seventh grader.

Kids like Olivia are working on some extra skills as they supply the teachers with snacks on Fridays.

“They take orders, take the snacks around, fill the orders, (and) count the money,” said Betsy Cook, resource teacher. Cook says it is a hands-on project that’s growing in popularity.

“We try to get them in the planning so it’s not just us they get to vote on things, they get to vote on supplies, they get to set up the snack cart. Get them as involved as possible,” said Cook.

They’re even in charge of their own marketing and advertising. And it’s not just granola bars. They offer smoothies too.

With the money from Martin’s, the project can expand.

“Very excited because we’ve been doing what we can with what we have, but now if we have some portable kitchen materials and equipment, it will open up new opportunities,” said Cook.

“I’m dying to try one of their smoothies, “said Jen Treber, St. Jude Catholic School 3rd Grade teacher and devotee to the snack cart.

“I love it!” said Treber.

She’s not only a fan of the project; she likes what it does for the students at St. Jude.

“They’re learning social skills; they’re also learning how to count money. How to exchange money. Just how to interact with people every day,” said Treber.

The students can invite their friends from other classes to join them.

“Just teaching them some new kitchen skills. Teaching them money skills and things that are practical for them to learn about in life. And other ways for them to interact with their friends in school and just have a lot of fun too in the process,” said Cook.

Lessons that go much farther than a snack cart.

“I think it teaches all our kids something. There’s just that element of compassion. And that every single one of us is unique and special. And we all have different needs,” said Treber.

If you would like to nominate your school for a Martin’s Super Market One School at a Time grant, click below for the entry form:

One School at a Time - Nominate Your School