06/26/08 Michelle Diedrich - Teaching life skills

There's a group of local students working on an important project most adults haven't mastered yet, they're creating a spending plan.

Do you have a household budget? A lot of people don't, but teacher Michelle Diedrich will use our $1,000 dollar grant to teach her autistic students the value of a dollar.

Michelle teaches special education for the Bakersfield City School District at the Cesar Chavez and at College Heights campuses.

There are nine autistic boys grades fourth through sixth in her class at Cesar Chavez working on perfecting their life skills in the marketplace. This check will help.

Michelle Diedrich, Special Education Teacher, Bakersfield City School District,
"My students will be making grocery lists, they will be making rewards lists and so forth, and they will have to go out and shop for those things on their own and learn how to spend money appropriately in the stores. And budget."

The boys will even track their spending and account for taxes. Michelle says teaching autistic children can often test her patience, but it's a task she approaches with enthusiasm.

Michelle, "Every one of them brings something different each day, so I get a little reward each day from my kids."

And now, thanks to One Classroom at a Time, Michelle has $1,000 ways to reciprocate as she passes the rewards back to her students.