District 87 Success Stories

May 10, 2017

(L to R) Zach Marvel and Reed Shoemaker helped remodel mini electric vehicles for children with disabilities in District 87.
Credit Baylee Steelman / WGLT

Students at Bloomington High School are helping children with special needs enjoy their time at the early childhood preschool unit in Sarah Raymond School.

The District 87 School Board is praising two freshman for remodeling small battery powered vehicles, so kids with disabilities can drive at a walking pace. Student Reed Shoemaker said the process was a challenge, but rewarding.

"It was a really good feeling seeing the kids make such progress in just a couple weeks with something we were able to make and convert over for them," said Shoemaker.

Shoemaker and his partner Zach Marvel replaced acceleration pedals with a button for kids with shorter legs, put in smaller seats and replaced the batteries. They also installed a handle with a kill switch on the back if an adult needs to stop the mini car.

District 87 is also recognizing some BHS students for a scholastic competition.

The Academic Cultural Technological Scientific Olympics, so ACT-SO, is an initiative from the NAACP to propel students of color into competitions in nearly 30 different subjects. ACT-SO member Tierra Shickel said the organization feels like a family.

(From left to right): BHS students Jackie Alzebdieh, Rozilyn Alzebdieh, Tierra Shickel and Jocelyn Sharif are members of the ACT-SO.
Credit Baylee Steelman

"It helps you grow as a person," said Shickel. "You are challenged to be the best you can. You are challenged to be creative, and be passionate about what you love and that's something that's really important."

Shickel said students competing against Bloomington from across the state cheer each other on. She said the environment is supportive and some of her best friends are her competitors.

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