It’s never too early for children to learn essential life skills, such as critical thinking, empathy, decision-making, and stress management. These skills offer them the ability to adapt to and deal responsibly with everyday challenges and demands in their life. Children learn to become independent and self-sufficient, with high self-esteem and proper socialization and reasoning skills. Life skills are not inherent; they must be learned through repetition and practice. Some general life skills include personal hygiene, study skills, and money management.
At St. Joseph School, teachers search for innovative ways to incorporate life skills into the curriculum. Operating an annual “Christmas Cafe” is one enjoyable method of teaching life skills to second graders. In October, students visit a restaurant to observe different job positions, and interview a restaurant employee about their job. In November, students create a personal resumé and prepare for an interview for their preferred Cafe position. In December, the students invite family members to dine at their Christmas Cafe (located in the church hall), and act as hosts, servers, cooks, cashiers, and cleanup crew members. Students demonstrate a strong work ethic to ensure 100% customer satisfaction!
“We’re always impressed with how well the students work together in their various roles,” said Krissy Knightly, second grade teacher at St. Joseph School. “On the day of the Cafe, we let them work together to solve any problems if they do occur. The goal of the project is to integrate life skills, such as individual responsibility, problem solving, and team building, with content area skills in a fun and engaging way.”
“The Christmas Cafe project helps our students demonstrate their skills in teamwork, following directions, and being helpful and courteous to others,” said Rita Stasi, Principal of St. Joseph School. “The children are proud of their work, and the families are amazed at how well they take on their roles in the Cafe.”
For more information, please contact:
St. Joseph School
4832 Highland Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515