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Treat Trolley brings smiles to teachers

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

A sweet can brighten anyone’s day.

At Clanton Intermediate School, a group of students are spreading cheer and helping morale thanks to a teacher’s idea and community partners.

Ashley Midgette, speech and language pathologist, wanted to create a project her students could have ownership of while helping the school.

Once classes opened after having closed early and having a delayed start date at the beginning of this school year, Midgette really wanted to make the idea work as a way to help improve teacher morale.

Midgette talked to fellow teachers who helped her get the project off the ground. Now, the Treat Trolley team delivers the donated sweets to teachers throughout the school once a month.

“It kind of brings up the morale for everyone … the students, the teachers, everybody,” Midgette said.

“If they are having a bad day, we turn their day upside down by giving them a treat,” Tanya said.

Midgette and the students work on “a game plan for each month.” Midgette contacts local businesses that may be willing to donate.

Darlene’s Discount was the first to say yes and make Midgette’s idea possible.

“They were very supportive of it,” Midgette said. “They donated a ton of stuff.”

Students organize the treats and drinks on the Treat Trolley cart in preparation for delivery.

“We do a mini training session, so that they can learn how to do it,” Midgette said. “We go over expectations, the roles, what to do, and we practice it.”

Student teams will knock on every classroom door offering the treats of the month to teachers.

Student Ben said some of the offerings have included peach pound cake and lemon squares. Student Adrian delivered Toll House pies samples donated by Pies By Mike.

“We get to pick a grade, and we do that whole hall,” student Jesiah said.

She and Ben chose the sixth grade hall as their area.

Students work in teams of two, taking turns with the one cart.

Student Adrian said students wear aprons with their names on it while serving.

Tanya said they develop “catchy phrases” related to the donor for the month for a special sign to put on the Treat Trolley. Developing the phrase can be challenging.  A recent one was “We A ‘Pie’ciate You.”

Student Audriana said she has enjoyed being able to give teachers snack and drinks. Lemon and chocolate cakes have been her favorites to deliver.

Adrian commented that getting over being nervous can also be challenging at first.

“It kind of teaches them to give to others,” Midgette said.

Her favorite part has been “seeing the kids go from being so nervous to they are so proud of themselves … their reactions about it.”

Tanya has enjoyed “making people happy and smile” when delivering the treats, while Jesiah enjoys “giving the teachers food for helping us learn.”

Ben enjoys “making people have a better day.”

Adrian enjoys “pushing the cart and talking to the teachers.”

“I like stocking up the cart,” Jesiah said.

The project helps students develop new vocational and social skills. Students also sign in each time they are working. Adrain said the students earn tokens that can be used to purchase prizes each time they work the Treat Trolley.

There are different items some more expensive than others. Midgette said this will help students see the value of saving because if they save their tokens, then they will be able to get something bigger.

The opportunity helps them work through the nerves of talking to new people.

Sometimes the Treat Trolley also goes to the administrative areas to give treats to the principal and staff.