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The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

The Student Voice of Prosper High School

Eagle Nation Online

Life Skill class offers students opportunities for growth

Entrepreneurial project empowers participants, provides products to community
As+the+jar+becomes+full+of+the+scented+beads%2C+senior+Mackenzie+Steinbrecher+maneuvers+the+beads+around+the+jar.+With+the+assistance+of+Life+Skills+class+adviser+Ashley+Romac%2C+Steinbrecher+then+places+the+jar+in+the+oven.+My+favorite+part+of+the+class+is+watching+the+kids+grow%2C+Romac+said.+That+is+watching+the+kids+become+more+independent.
Justin Wang
As the jar becomes full of the scented beads, senior Mackenzie Steinbrecher maneuvers the beads around the jar. With the assistance of Life Skills class adviser Ashley Romac, Steinbrecher then places the jar in the oven. “My favorite part of the class is watching the kids grow,” Romac said. “That is watching the kids become more independent.”

As the Life Skill students watch the vibrant, scented beads soften under the radiation of the microwave, it releases a sweet fragrance before the objects transform into “Eagle Freshies.”

Under the guidance of teacher Ashley Romac and other paraprofessional helpers, students with disabilities learn functional life skills. To shift the focus on student involvement with activities, Eagle Freshies specializes makers on how to produce products and sell them, which helps integrate students in the community.

Romac leads the program, enabling students to obtain the necessary skills for adulthood.

I help in teaching our students functional skills and how they can become more independent post-secondary,” Romac said. “This includes laundry, cooking and cleaning.”

To foster functional life skills it is a matter of integrating her students more within the community whether that be in or out of school.

“We go grocery shopping, and our kids get a visual shopping list,” Romac said. “So, they can go out into the store and find the items. Then, we come back, and we cook those once a week or sometimes twice a week.”

Advisor Ashley Romac pours the beads into the jar, freshman Prahlad Vijaya-Raghavan helps with the measurements and mixes the beads. Paraprofessional Indira Coleman watches over Vijaya-Raghavan while he does this.

In order to produce these unique experiences for the Life Skills students, Romac supplemented the idea of Eagle Freshies from a previous teacher to fund these trips.

“The idea of Eagle Freshies was given down to me from another teacher, and now I just continue the tradition,” Romac said. “All of the staff within the district has the opportunity to order Eagle Freshies. There are also funds that come outside the school, such as from parents. The funds that Eagle Freshies produce will go back into funding grocery shopping, buying crafts or buying anything that the kids will need in the classroom.”

Beside funds from the Eagle Freshies, the fresheners allow these students to share their crafts with the community at Prosper High School.

“It gives them something like an employment opportunity,” Romac said. “Each order will be prepped by a specific kid, and they will work in shifts. They take turns making little paper stickers and help measuring out beads for the Freshies – which ends up being delivered by the students.”

Eagle Freshies have allowed students in the Life Skills class to become more willing to get out of their comfort zone.

“Students such as Mackenzie love to complete jobs now,” Romac said. “She’s become more willing to help even when I don’t have to ask her to do so.”

Students such as Mackenzie love to complete jobs nows. She’s become more willing to help even when I don’t have to ask her to do so.”

— Ashley Romac, adviser

Along with Romac, paraprofessionals Brenda Henry and Indira Coleman engage daily with the students by assisting them in the production of Eagle Freshies.

“We partner with our students in gathering the ingredients and supplies,” Coleman said. “Next, we measure the proper amounts of ingredients for each Freshie. Then, we monitor the mixing and pouring of the ingredients. Lastly, we bake and cool the Freshies for the proper amount of time.”

Henry reflects on the growth of students in the Life Skills class throughout this year.

“I’ve seen so much growth in my students,” Henry said. “From their attitudes about coming to school, learning and getting their work done to writing their name independently. Most of all, their ability to use their communication devices efficiently and effectively to interact and accomplish tasks.”

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About the Contributor
Justin Wang
Justin Wang, Reporter
Justin Wang is a junior at Prosper High School. This is his first year working for Eagle Nations Online,  serving as a reporter. He loves mathematics, computer science, and wants to learn more about writing through working for Eagle Nation Online.
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