More than 100 Grants Awarded in 2022!
Congratulations to our Teachers & Leaders!
In their own words...
Recent Camp Hill alum, Emma Chaplin, The Lion Foundation’s intern during the 2021-22 school year, interviewed Amanda Rhykerd, Life Skills Teacher at the Camp Hill Middle & High School. Mrs. Rhykerd received a few Lion Foundation grants to bring her innovative ideas to the Life Skills classroom.
CHAPLIN Could you tell me how you define life skills?
RHYKERD Life skills is teaching students the basics of life and how to be successful with skills that we all inherently have, but we’re teaching our students those skills directly because they struggle in that area. When I think of life skills I think about cooking and reading texts in your environment. I think about leisure, so doing things independently, whether that’s playing a game or knowing how to occupy your time.
CHAPLIN How do these skills help students in school and in life?
RHYKERD I think that it’s always important especially for our population of students to think about what their outcomes are, because they differ greatly from a neurotypical student, so we prepare them for a job or set them up for success in a day program. We think about what those outcomes are and then we really think about the skills such as leisure, cooking, even daily living skills like personal hygiene.
CHAPLIN That’s awesome! Could you tell me how many students are currently served by the life skills classroom?
RHYKERD Yeah! Right now we have 8 full time students.
CHAPLIN And how has the funding from The Lion Foundation made your classroom better?
RHYKERD We’ve gotten a few things from the Foundation; I think the biggest contribution has been the Look N’ Cook curriculum. We actually fill a whole period everyday with a cooking curriculum that the foundation funded for us. We differentiate based on what students know and what they need to learn, and it really has given us an opportunity to capture some real life skills that they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to experience because we have a solid foundation of what we’re teaching during that time. The foundation has helped us drive that aspect.
CHAPLIN Great! My final question is: what is your favorite thing about your job?
RHYKERD My favorite thing about my job is definitely seeing students hit those small successes because to a lot of people they would seem small but to them and to us they’re huge. That might be learning to tie your shoe, or learning how to read a new word. Seeing a student be excited that they succeeded is definitely exciting for me.
CHAPLIN Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!
**This interview was lightly edited for space.
Camp Hill high school teacher, Mrs. Crane asked his senior Theatre Arts class to share their thoughts about the experience of seeing live theatrical productions. These trips are funded by a grant from The Lion Foundation. Hear what they have to say in their own words!