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Life Skills Cafe opens at Slatington Elementary

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    Slatington Elementary Life Skills teacher Ryan Stilwell cuts the ribbon during the grand opening of the school’s new LS Cafe Friday morning. Pictured with Stilwell are Life Skills students, front, from left, Emma Rissmiller and Christopher Hilbert. Back, from left, Kali Jennings, Cooper Levan-Uhler, Shane Fenstermaker and Juan Romero. Visit for a video. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS

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    Slatington Elementary Life Skills student Emma Rissmiller serves a cupcake to fourth-grade teacher Sarah Fink as Life Skills paraprofessional Tara Hengst watches. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS

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    A look at the baked goods items that were available inside the Life Skills Cafe. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS

Published April 15. 2019 12:24PM


A miniature cafe operated by students is now up and running inside Slatington Elementary School.

Life Skills students could be seen making coffee and tea and selling baked goods items to teachers during the grand opening of the school’s LS Cafe on Friday morning.

Located directly across from the Life Skills room, the cafe was organized and operated by Ryan Stilwell, who teaches grades 4-7 Life Skills Support, along with Life Skills students.

Stilwell said the cafe is meant to build upon Life Skills lessons in the areas of food preparation/food safety; money; daily living; community jobs; and also build on motor skills and communication skills.

“The whole point of our Life Skills classroom is to help build on communication skills, job skills, meal prep, and this kind of encompasses that all in one,” Stilwell said.

Stilwell said teachers use Bulldog Bucks to purchase a food item or beverage from the students.

In turn, the students collect the money and serve them their items.

Life Skills student Juan Romero said the cafe is like a dream come true.

“It’s exciting,” Juan said. “It’s like you have your own private little job.”

Fourth-grade teacher Sarah Fink said, “They did a wonderful job. It’s a wonderful experience for them.”

Stilwell said the cafe will be open on Fridays, and added he is working on a schedule for each grade level of teachers to have an opportunity to stop at the cafe during a time when their kids are at specials.



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