'Wish List' items help classroom learning - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

'Wish List' items help classroom learning

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RICHLAND, Wash.-- 'Wish List' items help classroom learning. Extra items like food, can be used as an incentive to help special needs children. Some of the supplies are used to help with student communication skills and getting them more active in the classroom.

Renae Yecha is a life skills teacher at Chief Joseph Middle School. Her students are children with medical and developmental disabilities. She has found a way to help them learn and communicate with others by using some rather unique supplies. Renae says "I had a need for some things in my classroom that weren't typical that are on a supply list."She sends out these 'wish lists' every year and gets a great response from people in the community.

The items work as an incentive to get the kids to participate in the classroom, while helping them develop their interaction skills. Renae says "students either have to request it by saying I want cupcake please. Or, I have a student, he uses pictures to communicate so he creates a picture sentence that says I want and then he puts whatever he wants on there."

Items are donated by other educators, parents and other community members. Some people go beyond that and give to more than just to their kids in the class.

Renae says "I had a student who doesn't take any food by mouth and he ended up, his mom dropping off crackers and things for the other kids."She got the idea for a wish list from a teaching website. School leaders say it's a great way for parents and others to get involved in the classroom.

Special Education Director Carol Johnson says "we always welcome volunteers, we always welcome individuals who participate in that way."