We offer cooking, sewing, gardening, shop safety, basic woodworking, basic construction, and basic electricity. We also have our "Fab Lab" which utilizes 3-D printers and design software to teach fabrication skills.
The focus is developing skills required to be proficient in preparing meals in a home setting and preparing students for culinary pursuits. The first order of business is kitchen safety. Students study for and may take the test for a food handlers card. The next order of safety is proper knife technique and safe use of other kitchen equipment. Students will also learn proper terminology for home kitchen and an introduction to professional kitchen terminology. Students then learn to meal plan, including using ads to get the best deals, budgeting and shopping. Students are then able to prepare meals and serve them to their peers. During the summer students plant, water and tend to an on campus garden. When the garden is ready to harvest students harvest for our Chef in the kitchen. Students also use the produce to make meals.
The focus is to teach students sewing skills they will need when living on their own. They become familiar with the parts of a sewing machine and how to use it. They learn to mend and darn their own items. As a challenge, students are encouraged to develop a pattern for a butchers’ apron using Kraft paper, a yard stick and pencil and then use that pattern to create the actual apron. They learn to make items such as curtains and pillows for a new apartment. They are introduced to types of material and their uses. Tye dye tee shirts are made for themselves, but then cloth toys and quilts are made and then given to the Police Departments to give to children in traumatic circumstances. Students also work on red, white and blue quilts that are given as "Quilts of Valor" to deserving Veterans.
Shop safety is taught before entering the shop and key focus to working with tools must be mastered before starting any projects. All projects are extremely structured and in small ratios of staff to residents. We begin these classes with basic woodworking, then basic construction, followed by basic electricity. Future plans for Fall of 2019 are Mechanical Skills (basic small engine and automotive) and Wood Art for experienced kids. Our kids make special projects that are proudly displayed and used on campus and sometimes in the community as well, such as standing desks, lamps, storage sheds, patio furniture, and dog/cat houses.
The kids are involved from start to finish with our campus garden which is approximately 1300 square feet. They prep, plant, water & weed the garden with staff assistance and direction. Our garden typically features lettuce, cucumber, bell peppers, green beans, tomatoes, and squash. Our vocational program partners with our gardening program to build raised beds and green houses. The kids enjoy starting their crop from seed in the greenhouses. Gardening also partners with our nutritional program to provide a farm to table program for our residents. It is so exciting for our residents to eat the food they grew and understand where their food came from.