Getting an opportunity to practice the skills they've learned, the Williamsport Area High School life skills class held a Thanksgiving lunch for more than 30 staff members, administrators, parents and community members Nov. 7.
"We look at what their strengths are and what jobs they can do," said Bonnie Williams, life skills teacher.
Students in the school's culinary arts program helped with the event and worked with the life skills students as they served, cooked and cleaned during the lunch.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
In the top photo are the students who participated in the annual Life Skills Program Thanksgiving Dinner at Williamsport Area High School.
Williams said students from both classes prepared for weeks in order to put on the meal. With the help of Lydia Ertel, culinary arts teacher, Williams started with simple recipes. She said it gives students the opportunity to work on their reading skills.
The students also create invitations, cook and role play. Williams said role playing gives her students a way of preparing how to perform each duty they may do during the actual lunch.
"We try to work on a whole host of skills," Williams said.
On the day of the meal, guests were greeted by a host and hostess, while waiters and waitresses brought plates of turkey and stuffing to the tables. In the kitchen, other students were busy dishing out pie and washing plates as they came back.
"I think it's cool because we get to learn how to cook and we get to learn how to serve (meals)," said Brett Hill, a senior life skills student.
Kaitlyn Dibble, junior culinary arts student, said it's fun to be a part of the meal. She said her older brother was in the culinary arts program and loved being involved in the meal each year.
"It's been a lot of work," Dibble admitted. But she also said, "It's a good experience."
Ertel said having the two classes work together has a positive effect for all students.
"They really form some great friendships," she said.
Angelina Ramos, freshman life skills student, said being able to show what she's learned to the community makes her proud.
"I get excited that they're able to put their best foot forward," Williams said.
Williams added that with the parents and administrators present, it "really sets the bar high for our students. The parents don't always realize, 'Wow, look at the skills my child can do.' "
This is the 14th year for the event and Williams said her students always are excited to put on the event.
"They love it. They say, 'When are we going to do this again?' " Williams said.