What is Fundamental Life Skills Day?
A few years ago, our Larned Middle School building leadership team came across an idea for a way to instruct our students in some topics outside of the normal subject areas. We discussed what this could look like at LMS. To begin, we had staff come up with relevant ideas of topics that they felt confident in teaching to our students. Some of these great ideas included vehicle oil changes, changing flat tires, getting stains out of clothing, teaching pet obedience, basic cooking skills, and many more. In addition, we partnered with community members to bring outside expertise to teaching the students as well. Some great community examples include Pawnee County Sheriff Scott King and Shawn and Dawn Smyth teaching self defense, Brenda Reed decorating desserts, local banker Ben Ramsey instructing on personal finance and credit scores to name a few.
After we have the instructors lined up, Mrs. Pruter, our counselor, sets up a program for students to enroll in topics that they would like to experience. For an afternoon, students rotate through four approximately thirty minute sessions as taught by our community members and staff. We have a mixture of 6th through 8th grade students in each session with priority given to 8th graders as this will be their final chance to participate in the activity. LMS students truly appreciate the opportunity to learn life skills in a fun and safe environment while our instructors have a chance to impact students outside of the classroom.
As state expectations rise in regards to not only graduation rates, but also post secondary success of our students, we hope that providing the Fundamental Life Skills day to our students will help with these measures as they graduate from high school in a few years. At the middle school level, we introduce students into the beginning of career exploration which ties directly to some of the topics we are able to promote. With the help of the community members and staff, we strive to provide some “real world” experiences for our middle school students. In turn, the students will be more viable contributors to our local community and beyond.