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Grand Island, NE 68802
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Shoemaker students practice social skills, learn about careers through Community Greeter Program

Each month, Shoemaker Elementary students meet a new friendly face as they walk into school.

This year, the school implemented the Community Greeter Program. Kelli Arens, a speech pathologist at Shoemaker, started the program at the school.

“I was watching a webinar this summer, and speech pathologist was talking about how she started it at her school,” Arens said. “I thought it would be a great program to start here at Shoemaker.”

Once a month, Arens invited a community member to greet students, staff and parents in the morning as they walk in the building. So far, Grand Island firefighters and Celine Swan from the Grand Island library have been greeters. Dr. Grover was the greeter on November 6.

After greeting the students, staff and parents, the visiting greeter talks to one grade group about their occupation. On Nov. 6, Dr. Grover spoke to Shoemaker fifth graders about what being a superintendent for Grand Island Public Schools means, and how she became superintendent. Dr. Grover explained the multiple college degrees it takes to be a superintendent, as well as her experience being a principal and a fifth grade teacher. Students asked Dr. Grover multiple questions to learn more about her career.

Arens said the program helps students work on their social skills by greeting the community member. The Character Council, Arens pointed out, has also now started greeting people in the mornings since the program started. She said the program creates a connection with the community by having different people greet students. By having the greeters share more about their career, it gives the students a taste of what job possibilities are out there, Arens said.

Dr. Grover talks with students

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