GRADS Meeting June 8, 2023
Middlebrook Community Room 6:30 p.m.
Four members were in attendance at the June meeting of Grant Roberts Area Disability Supports.
The theme of the 2023 National Disability Employment Awareness Month is Advancing Access and
Equity. The Sisseton event will be on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at the Family Life Center, 404 West
Hickory Street, Sisseton. Dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m. followed by guest speaker, Dan
Card/Think 3D. The evening will end with the recognition of local employers/employees. Please RSVP
by September 29 to Rachael Johnson by phone, 605-698-7445 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Americans with Disabilities Act celebration will be on Monday, July 31, 2023 at the Milbank
Visitor Center, 1001 East 4th Avenue, Milbank. Subway sandwiches, chips, bars and beverages will be
served from 6:00- 6:30 p.m. A short program will follow. The evening will conclude with BINGO.
RSVP by July 17 to email@example.com. Rachael Johnson will apply for Thrivent Action Team
funds to pay for sandwiches, etc. Charlotte Athey will purchase chips, bottled water, coffee, and paper
products. She will bring the BINGO game and a large thermal coffee server. Rachael will arrange for
people to bring bars. We will all bring BINGO prizes. Speakers will be Laura Maag (LifeQuest),
Charlotte Athey (GRADS), Diane Stewart (Grant County ARC) Mayor Pat Raffety (City of Milbank),
Rachael Johnson (Voc Rehab for Katrina Koeppe), and perhaps someone from Independent Living
Choices. Rachael will put ads in the Sisseton Courier, The Grant County Review, & The Valley
Shopper. Charlotte will contact Tidbits and have posters done before July 15.
Benefit Rummage Sale
There will be a benefit rummage sale on Saturday, July 15, 2023 starting at 9:00 a.m. at the
Middlebrook Community Room, 902 E. Milbank Avenue, Milbank. We will set up late afternoon/early
evening on Friday, July 14. Some item to be sold are counter stools, a water purifier, a humidifier,
puzzles/games, books/magazines, household goods, and some clothes/shoes. If you have things to
donate please reply to this message. Rachael Johnson will place ads in papers and Charlotte Athey will
Laura Maag (LifeQuest) can use free state park entrance passes from the library. She will also look into
Reading Squared, the summer reading program for adults that they offer. Laura wants to encourage
LifeQuest participants to drink more water. We authorize her to purchase incentives such as movie
passes or pizza certificates for meeting specified goals of drinking water at sponsored activities.
The checking account balance in First Bank &Trust in Milbank was $3,685. on 5/31/23.
We will have a meeting on July 15 at the rummage sale to finalize plans for the ADA celebration.
The financial help that was given by GRADS to the Sisseton School District-Transition Class was spent on the materials for coffee making and some tools for carpentry lessons.
For the carpentry, the class bought tool boxes, nails, hammers, screw drivers, rulers, and fliers. Each of the students will have their own toolbox with tools inside which they can bring home to finish some carpentry assignments/job especially during distance learning or snow days in Winter time.
For the coffee making skill, sugar, coffee, and creamer were purchased to accomplish the training ang practice of such skill.
The whole class is grateful to this grant. May your organization continue to support us, the teachers.
May Amodia, Sisseton School District
On Friday, May 5 Milbank hosted special Olympics. We had 290 athletes from 13 different school participate. We were able to feed all athletes, coaches and families for free. We used the 100.00 to help cover the expense of the food.
Abbey Trapp, Milbank School District
Hello Mary Lou and the Grant Roberts Area Disability Supports,
I want to thank you and your group for the Boost for Teacher grant that I received.
The funds from this grant were used for buying food for our transition program. Students in this program enjoy going to the store to purchase food and other supplies for the apartment. They learn how to make a shopping list, find items in a store, comparison shop, and live within a budget. They also work on decision making skills and sometimes need to compromise with their peers before making a purchase. After making a purchase, students enjoy using the food to make meals.
Grocery shopping and meal making is a favorite activity for these students. Most meals are decided upon by the students and allowing them to decide what to make encourages their enthusiasm and participation in the activity. The students chose to use this money to buy groceries to make monster cookies, tater tot hotdish, biscuits and gravy, sloppy joes, and chicken fettucine alfredo. The students did an excellent job learning how to make these meals and everything tasted delicious! Since staff and students are the only individuals that use the apartment, students with the guidance of the staff members, are responsible for making sure that they clean up after themselves doing daily and weekly housekeeping tasks.
This was my first year with the Milbank Transition Program. It was great to work with these students and help them develop their independent living skills. I greatly appreciate the support your group gives to individuals with disabilities.
Michele Benike, Milbank School District
I would like to thank GRADS for the support that had been extended to us. Initially, the proposal submitted was intended to buy materials for cricut machine so we can make cards, wall decorations and many more. However, I did not go with the plan since I still need to give more time studying how to run the cricut machine that the school has provided for my class.
Fortunately, I was able to use the money to a more memorable way that I assumed my students would love to do. I let them do chocolate bouquets for Mothers’ Day celebration. They did not only make bouquets for their mothers, but also for their teachers in 8th grade as well.
It was really a very timely project and a memorable one. Their mothers and even the teachers who received it expressed their gratitude and made good comments about the project.
I will be sending some pictures for you to see.
Again, thank you GRADS for having $100 Boost for Teachers support.
Karen Siriban, Sisseton