Adulting class teaches life skills

Adulting 101 teaches life skills in Chester
Posted on 11/14/2018
PCS Chester students gather for a tour of Holiday Market.

Plumas Charter School students in Chester are learning some essential life skills through a unique class: Adulting 101.

“We thought about calling it Life Skills, or something like that, but that sounded too boring,” said Chester Center Lead Teacher Keri Reed. “We decided to go with Adulting because it’s in the current vocabulary.”

Reed said the idea for the class arose from a need she saw for students in grades nine–12 to receive instruction in basic skills they would need as adults. Topics could be a simple as how to shake hands, or as complicated as how to do their taxes.

“This class is important because we are talking about subjects that many times aren’t addressed at school,” she said, “but we expect students to know when they graduate.”

The class is currently addressing manners and etiquette: “why it’s important to know how to conduct yourself in public,” said Reed. She and her students are discussing why, when, and how much to tip.

To bring home the concepts with real-world examples, the class takes regular field trips to nearby community businesses and organizations. The tipping lesson will be reinforced with a meal at a local restaurant; a segment on local job opportunities included a hands-on tour of the Chester Fire Department.

Special in-class assignments round out the curriculum. For example, when Reed and her students discussed grocery shopping, meal planning, and budgeting, they answered the question “What does it take to feed your family for a month?” both here in California, and also in other countries, such as in Mali and India.

They also practiced cooking skills with the help of a “really amazing recipe for chocolate chip cookies” from instructional aide Mindy Nicholson, and received a behind-the-scenes tour of Holiday Market to see how food is processed and presented locally.

For field trips, Reed said the high school students are joined by K–8 students from PCS Chester, bringing new perspectives to the outings.

On Election Day, the Adulting 101 class talked about “why it is important to vote and how students need to know how to research the issues so they can be informed voters,” said Reed. “Students had a chance to read the information given to voters about Measure B, and to see what it’s like to have the responsibility of being an informed voter.”

Future topics will include tax preparation in April, and job applications in May. Meanwhile, Reed said the class time itself is a valuable learning opportunity. “At the Chester learning center, the students do a lot of independent study, covering the basic subjects at home,” she said. “Gathering together in person for Adulting class gives us all a chance to get to know each other, practice social skills, and get out in our local community.”

Plumas Charter School serves students countywide through learning centers in Quincy, Indian Valley, and Chester. For more information about PCS Chester, call 530-258-3365.

In the photo: Students from the Chester branch of Plumas Charter School gather for their tour of Holiday Market. Back row, from left: Emily Rice, Holiday Market store director; Jennifer Heffley, Holiday Market head clerk;  Monique Hicklin, parent chaperone; Michelle Riggs, ninth grade; Breanna Vassar, 10th grade; Jordyn Working, 10th grade; Lauren Nicholson, 11th grade; Nick Walkewicz, 11th grade; Hunter Sell, ninth grade; Austin Pence, 10th grade; Aiden Johnson, 10th grade. Front row, from left: Jeff Lusty, fourth grade; Jackson Benny, second grade, with little brother Leo; Skyler Baldwin, eighth grade; Jayden Lusty, third grade; Vincent Maumoynier, third grade; Zeke Baldwin, fifth grade; Cayleb Clark, ninth grade; Quentin Maumoynier, fifth grade. Photo by Janae Lagroue