The entire staff at Arrowwood Elementary in Saginaw Township Community Schools benefits from the culinary skills of Shanna Bedford's students.
Shanna teaches 10 children, from 3rd-5th grades.
Every month they host Taco Tuesday. Students visit school staff, take orders, collect money, then make and serve tacos.
"We call ourselves the Taco Squad," Bedford said. "We even have shirts that identify our team of taco servers. It's so awesome."
Taco Tuesday is a fundraiser for the KNOTS (Kids Need Opportunities to Socialize) mentoring program that makes monthly community-based instruction trips possible.
For example, Shanna’s students will go to restaurants where they will learn skills, such as ordering food, using the buffet line, and practicing appropriate manners in public.
Every Thanksgiving the class celebrates with a special buffet.
"Shanna is always looking for creative things to do in her classroom," said Shannon Dammer, special education supervisor for STCS. "Her whole attitude is amazing. She's super upbeat and she truly cares for everyone."
Shanna’s students also participate in a cooking class on Fridays where they get accustomed to using a can opener, operating a microwave oven, making grocery lists, boiling noodles, practicing proper hygiene, and watching instructional videos on YouTube.
"It's a joy to introduce my students to both the life skills and social skills they will need as they grow older," said Shanna, an 11-year teaching veteran, the past six years at Arrowhead Elementary.