One of the North Shore District’s most important programs is the Life Skills program, run by Mr. Dan Adams. It helps kids with special needs to learn in school, without being rushed. Students from both the middle and high school volunteer to teach lessons to these kids. One of the high school students who helps out with the program is Fallon Blacharski. She started getting involved in the Life Skills program in her sophomore year, and now in her senior year in high school, it serves as an internship. But now, it is much more than a requirement to graduate.
Fallon realized that once she got the hang of her new, unique job, it had worked out “great!”. She started to teach on her free periods and in the morning, even began to go to the middle school to teach there. Fallon sums up one of her first lessons as to “see how well they listen to directions and observe.” She brought in building blocks and had the students Alex, Dan, and Binul copy the things she built. As the kids understood her first few tests, they became harder. Later on, Fallon had one of the students build something while the other two kids copied him. Fallon describes her experience and how it made her a better person:
“This helped all of them to understand how to listen to each other and how to observe as they had to rebuild what the other one did. This activity even taught a lot to me as it did to the boys… I learned to take it slow, have patience and deal with the challenges ahead that the lesson might not always goes as planned. My internship has helped me tremendously. I’ve dealt with things in the past that not have always gone as planned, but now I know how to handle things much better. Now with the challenges that stand ahead, I know that all I need to have is to take it slow and have patience. Then, work, little by little, to complete the challenge.”
The Life Skills program has changed many lives of students and their families. Not only have the kids in the program benefited, but the students like Fallon, who have volunteered to help, have become better as well. Mr. Dan Adams created this group to bring the North Shore community into these kids’ lives. It helps them to make friends, learn, and participate in daily activities with students and teachers from both the middle and high school. The Life Skills group is unlike any other in North Shore’s pool of programs, and it has, and will continue to, change the lives of so many.
By Gabi Roach and Fallon Blacharski