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Granite School district students make Valentine’s Day extra special for the community

SALT LAKE CITY – Some students in the Granite School District are putting a nontraditional twist on a traditional holiday.

Special needs and at risk students who learn on the job training skills at the Jones Center are making some Valentine’s Day memories, and sharing them at the district’s gift shop.

“I think I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have this job,” said Alex Christensen.

Christensen teaches floral design at the Jones Center.

“We have all sorts of students with different abilities," Christensen said.

Students get hands on training at the florist shop. Right now, they’re gearing up for Valentine’s Day.

“We just received the flowers on Friday and the orders are coming in every day, and have been coming in for the last two weeks,” said Christensen.

With 20 dozen roses at their fingertips, students have free reign to create their own masterpieces.

“I really try to find something for everybody to do whether they know what that is or if I know what that is yet," Christensen said.

Ashley Pola is one of the students learning how to arrange flowers. She offers this advice: “Have fun. If it's hard for you just think of someone you love and try to make the flower beautiful.”

From clipping to baking, students are also spreading some love at the Jones Center bakery. They’re whipping up 1,000 heart shaped, sugar cookies and rolls. All the goodies are delivered to the Jones Center Gift Shop located inside the Granite School District Office.

Students get to see their final product on the shelves, and sell it to customers.

“It's amazing,” said Joanne Hampton, special ed specialist. “It's such a reality check. Really selling. Learning the money skills.”

They gain a new outlook on life as they help lift others.

“I want to be a florist. A dancer. A reporter,” said Pola.

“It's a beautiful thing. It really is a joy to see and to share it with everyone in the community,” said Christensen.

To place an order for Valentine’s Day, call 385-646-4221.