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Tri County students kick off the new year with a two-day life skills event

January 8, 2019

Tri County students began their second semester last week. However, mathematics notes and literature lectures were nowhere to be found.

Instead, middle and high school students learned self-defense, how to change a tire, and how to grill over charcoal.

Tri County kicked off the calendar year with a two-day life skills event, allowing students to gain experience in areas they wouldn’t learn about in a conventional classroom.

Principal Matthew Uher said the school sat Thursday and Friday for the event to broaden the academic horizons of its students. The first day consisted of hour-long clinics in self-defense, pet care, sewing, grilling, auto care, fire rescue and an escape room experience.

On Friday, the students learned ukulele, took a class on personal care, worked with robots in a maker space, did yoga and learned techniques for successful living.

Uher said he hopes the life skills event will give kids vital experience in areas that have direct, real world applications while potentially sparking interest in a future hobby or career choice.

“We want to give our kids a broader outlook on life,” Uher said, “School can be so much more than reading, writing, and arithmetic.”

Bryson Hacker, a Freshman at Tri County said the experience had been a welcome change of pace from the day to day of school life.

“It’s better than being in a normal classroom,” Hacker said.

Uher said the idea for the event came when the school received a partial grant from the state for career and technical education. He said this money helped provide a plasma cutter and 3D printer for Tri County, and when school officials saw the short week on the calendar, they decided they could use the funds to create the life skills experience.

Uher said it was important for Tri County to have this event because the school lacks a home economics or family consumer science program where students might normally receive this type of education.

The school surveyed students in mid-October with about 20 options for clinic topics. The students chose the list, and then administrators worked diligently to iron out the logistics for the event. They were proud to involve local businesses, allowing the community to be a part of the fun.

Uher said he was confident that the event was going over well with students, and that it provided fun and educational value. He said he was also hopeful about the long-term impact the experience could have.

“If kids take one nugget of information from today, I’m happy,” Uher said.

Uher said many of the skills the students were learning were the sort of thing adults often take for granted. For students, however, these skills could provide valuable knowledge in the future.

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