One School at a Time: Career Academy South Bend

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 7:07 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The students at Career Academy, South Bend are learning how to plan their own meals.  It’s an option that can be both cost effective and healthy. They just won a One School at a Time $1,000 grant from Martin’s Super Markets to help them with their lessons.

The Career Academy kids take frequent Friday field trips to Martin’s.  The shopping trips include many life lessons.

“They come in and they learn how to shop, they learn how to compare prices, then they take the food back to the school where they learn to prepare food for themselves as well,” said Sherri Dabney, Human Resources Coordinator at Martin’s Super Markets.

“We’ve made some pretty interesting things,” said Andy Douglas, Career Academy 11th grader. “We made these burritos. It was like a green tortilla wrap.”

Freshman Carlton Mitchell has made some of his favorite foods.

“Tacos and we’ve cooked chicken,” said Mitchell. “It’s a hundred percent good.”

Mitchell says it all starts with a plan.

“Having cooking ingredients and other stuff like seasonings, how to cook it and how to do it right using the great ingredients,” he said.

“Not all of them get a chance to learn these things,” said Gina Penn, Paraprofessional at Career Academy.   She helps them learn a variety of life lessons.

“Shopping, learning to do their laundry, making grocery lists, making a chore list, setting priorities,” explained Penn.  Budgeting, shopping and preparing food are among the most important lessons.

“I feel very strongly that it’s very important for every student in our school to learn these life skills,” said Penn.

Since the money for these shopping trips comes out of the Special Education budget, the Martin’s grant is really appreciated.

“Thank you so, so much on behalf of life skills class and career, thank you,” said Penn.

“This helps us to further our programs for our kids, at career academy, we believe in educating the whole child and giving them the skills that they need when they leave us,” said Sara Timm, Director of Special Education. “This supplements what we’re doing so we can do more great things for more kids at our school.”

The activities may inspire these kids to work in the food industry.

“I did think about doing a restaurant someday like working there,” said Douglas. “So, hopefully someday it can become a dream come true.”

If you would like to nominate your school for a One School at a Time grant, click here: One School at a Time - Nominate Your School.

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