Frozen treat helps teach life lessons

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Michael Fox, 16, wanted to make a good impression on his fellow Carson High School students and visiting district officials Wednesday.

"You have to be on your best," he said. "We just got to be way on our guard to get this done."

Fox joined with fellow students enrolled in the Comprehensive Life Skills, deaf/hard of hearing and Autism programs to debut their new business of selling WOW Cow Frozen Yogurt at the high school.

Speech pathologist Christine Winder said the program teaches state standards in a hands-on way.

"We are able to take the essence of Nevada's content standards and apply them to the ordering, making, and selling of frozen yogurt," she said. "Some standards worked on are math, measuring, money, reading comprehension, directions, and social skills."

Although the line for the free sample offered Wednesday seemed to go on forever, Fox kept his cool, concentrating on good customer service.

"It's going good," he said. "I usually just say, 'Welcome, enter here,' and extend my hand."

Zane Ware, a junior, thanked customers on the other end.

Because he is non-verbal, Ware used a voice output device to say, "Thank you. Come again."

Mark Korinek, operations manager for the school district, stopped by for a sample cone.

"The yogurt is good," he said. "It meets the nutrition standards, and it tastes good."

Winder said the program is possible because of grant funding, as well as support from the community including OARC and Silver Springs Village Market owner Jeff Delgiudice who sold them the yogurt machine at a deep discount.

The yogurt business will work hand in hand with other improvements in the Comprehensive Life Skills program. A classroom was recently transformed into an apartment with a working kitchen, washer and dryer and bed.

Students will learn to do laundry and fold clothes, clean and sweep, wash windows, set a dining table, make a bed, load and unload dishwashers, learn product and kitchen safety and develop beginning cooking skills and proper nutrition.

"When you have students who have limited understanding as far as verbal commands or poor reading skills, hands-on is going to help them remember these life skills," said CLS teacher Jim Taplin. "After high school, we want to make sure students meet the highest level of independence they possibly can."


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