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Tahoma Middle School Students set SAIL with donation of retired County van

Summary

The van donated by Dunn will allow students to travel to a local store to practice navigating the aisles to find their items, communicating with staff members about prices, and purchasing their items using real money. They can learn what’s needed to go shopping, ordering in restaurants, and interacting in their community.

Story

IMG_9460_web
Reagan Dunn (back row, 3rd from left) with the students and staff of the Tahoma
Middle School’s SAIL (Successful Academic Independent Learning) program.
Dunn today dropped off a retired King County Vanpool van for the program
to school to use for the SAIL program


When budget constraints and limited district transportation prevented special education students from experiencing an important part of their curriculum, educator Leanne LaFramboise reached out to Metropolitan King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn for assistance.

Today, Tahoma Middle School’s SAIL (Successful Academic Independent Learning) program, received a retired Metro Vanpool van, allowing students access to their community in order to practice the key life and social skills they learn in the classroom.

“I’m pleased that this ‘retired’ Metro Van will have a second career serving the students at Tahoma Middle School,” said Dunn. “It’s really a win win for everyone involved and I am glad that I was able to be a part of it.”

“The kids are very excited to be going into the community again. They have spent all week coming up with ideas of where they would like to go first!” said Leanne LaFramboise.

“This van delivery is a great example of how beneficial the partnership between the Tahoma School District and King County can be,” said Tahoma School District Superintendent Rob Morrow. “I am pleased that this van will help Tahoma Middle School students learn about their community and gain the skills they need to be future ready and successful.”

SAIL is a self-contained classroom that serves middle school students with cognitive disabilities. Students work on traditional reading, writing, mathematics, and social studies during the academic portions of their day but also work on life, social, and communication skills to meet their individualized goals. These skills are critical in supporting their future readiness in being able to be productive and independent adults. While some skills can be taught in the classroom, student success depends on being able to practice what they learn in the natural environment of the community.

The van donated by Dunn will allow students to travel to a local store to practice navigating the aisles to find their items, communicating with staff members about prices, and purchasing their items using real money. They can learn what’s needed to go shopping, ordering in restaurants, and interacting in their community.

The retired vans have been part of Metro Transit’s vanpool fleet for at least six years and have reached the end of their service life. When the vans reach this age, they are considered surplus. The vehicles that are not donated are sold.

Since 1996, the County Council has been donating retired vans from Metro’s Vanpool program to local nonprofit organizations to provide transportation for the disabled, low-income, young adults, and senior citizens. Governments, agencies and organizations that receive the vans must meet specific requirements.

The vanpool program provides mobility for a diverse array of King County residents, supports the positive work of various local organizations, and relieves traffic congestion by reducing the need for single-occupancy vehicles. Interested organizations can contact Councilmember Dunn at 206-477-1009 or reagan.dunn@kingcounty.gov for more information on applying for a vehicle.

Contact the Council
Main phone:
206-477-1000
TTY/TDD:
206-296-1024
Fax:
206-296-0198