Breakfast the most important meal of the day. And for some students in the Pleasant Valley School District, they did their very best to make it the most important meal for the maintenance staff, as their way of saying "Thank you."
There were tantalizing smells of homefries, pancakes, eggs and sausage wafting down the high school's hallways as seventh-12th grade students in Randy Hinton's Life Skills class prepared a meal fit for kings and queens.
The Life Skills class is made up of students with disabilities that show limitations in communication, social skills, and taking care of him or herself. The class has many different skill areas that are addressed such as: social interactions, domestic skills, prevocational and vocational skills, as well as daily living skills.
Some students may be able to live independently, some will require assisted living and supervised work areas throughout their life.
Mrs. Hinton dreamed of having a classroom that would help students learn basic household skills and shopping knowledge. When a classroom became available due to a drop in enrollment, it was designated as a Life Skills classroom devoted to that specific instruction. When a call was sent out for the need of furniture and appliances, district staff came through with donations of table and chairs, stove, washer and dryer, a sink, a bed and more.
Now one section of the classroom looks like a studio apartment. Students learn how to do laundry, cook basic meals, make a bed and the importance of keeping it all neat and clean.
Another area of the classroom is devoted to a grocery store set up with shelves stocked with food and household items. The students learn how to shop and how to pay for their purchases.
And who helped create this space?
Members of the maintenance staff delivered the items to the classroom and helped arrange the area.
"So as a way to thank the staff for helping us put this whole apartment together, we wanted to do something special for them. We decided to make them breakfast and the students all helped in preparing the food and serving it," said Hinton.
Carole Geary, PVSD's associate superintendent addressed the maintenance staff.
"You are our unsung heroes. The students, as a group, appreciate your hard work to put this classroom together for them."
Mike Borger, a member of the maintenance staff said, "This is great that they are doing this for us, appreciating what we do. It's worth it to see the smiles on their faces."
As the Life Skills class's guests left, they were each given a delicious homemade treat they made themselves.