Fall Issue: 2016
Students learn life skills
Teacher Angela Zlatic teaches seven special needs kids in the high school with disabilities ranging from autism and cerebral palsy to Down Syndrome.
One of the ways Zlatic teaches her students skills is to get them out into the community, where they can learn, but also give back — a win-win situation.
“Every year I try to give my students a chance to experience various community experiences that will help teach them life skills from money math, to reading, and learning job skills,” she said.
This year the class decided to volunteer at Rivers Crossing Community Church once a
month, where they perform hands-on jobs.
“Rivers Crossing was very open to having us come in and help them with various tasks,” Zlatic said.
The class had to practice introducing themselves to the staff before arriving at the church. One of the staff members they introduced themselves to was Jackie Mason. Mason was overseeing the class’s tasks for that day.
“The students assembled appreciation gifts for church volunteers when they came and completed the job in about 1 or 2 hours. I was surprised and delighted,” Mason said.
The tasks these kids perform primarily are based on how much their abilities allow them to do. Now that they have been to the church once, this gives Mason an idea of their skill set.
“Having met the kids, I now have a better understanding of what they can do.” Mason says. “In the future they will be doing jobs where they form assembly lines so that the tasks are divided up into simplified jobs.”
By Delaney Schueler