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There is a brand new store in town, specializing in floral arrangements, animal toys and recycled stationary. But this shop’s primary goal isn’t to turn a profit.

“MicroConnections came to be because we wanted to have an opportunity in house to support all our students with the development of their job skills. We have students that might not necessarily be considered employable by the community and as a result we just felt that we wanted to create an opportunity to meet that need,” said Maura Anderson, Supervisor of Transition Services for District 203.

Part of District 203’s post secondary school transition programming, students work on the different microConnections products a few times each week.

“I like working with beads,” said Kevin Briegel, a Connections student.

“I like doing the fleece blanket because I did a great job and I feel proud of myself,” said Jessica Browne, another Connections student.

Students are able to utilize their talents, while learning some new ones.

“This is a great option for students to gain work skills and gain those time on task skills that they can then use on a resume or use out in the community when they get a job,” said Melissa Beckman, Teacher with Connections Transition Services.

Each work station requires different motor skills and cognitive abilities, making sure there’s a place for every student to participate.

“I think having a vocational goal for life, for all of them, no matter what ability they have, is very fundamental to their self-esteem, and they all have taken a really wonderful part in this,” said Lisa-Marie Camp, Teacher with Connections Transition Services.

MicroConnections also strives to reduce, reuse and recycle, using unsellable flowers donated by Trader Joe’s for the floral arrangements, fabric scraps for the animal toys and the district’s shredded paper for the stationary.

To view some of their products, visit

Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.


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