BVAS Students Practice Life Skills

March 01, 2016 | Melanie Lawson

Life skills are the skills one needs to make the most out of life. They are usually associated with managing a quality life and include skills like changing the oil in a car, repairing a flat tire, operating a screw driver, using a computer and balancing a checkbook. 

Life skills are one of the many lessons Dan Tyler, sixth- through eighth-grade teacher at Boise Valley Adventist School, focuses on in his classroom. 

For the past few years Boise Valley Adventist School has chosen to direct their holiday outreach overseas. But this year, BVAS students chose to focus their efforts a little closer to home and support their local community.

The local focus started with an idea from Tyler who wanted to teach his students life skills that can’t be learned from a textbook — skills that will enable his students to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.

That’s when the lessons commenced. The first life skill was learned on a field trip to a department store, where the students had to budget money to purchase gifts. The second life skill involved selecting useful, heartfelt gifts. The third life skill came when the students had to wrap the gifts to be given away.

To aid with this, Tyler solicited the help of a school mom to teach the art of gift wrapping. He also requested the help of the remaining student body to wrap the more than 50 gifts that were purchased. Once completed, the gifts were hand-delivered by BVAS students to residents of a local retirement community. 

Additional life skills were developed as church family members solicited help from BVAS students to rake leaves and assemble care packages for elderly shut-ins. 

Verna Reinbold, first- and second-grade teacher, wanted to teach a few life skills of her own and took her classroom outreach project one step further when they adopted a family in need. After bumping into a former student and hearing of her desperate situation, Reinbold decided to adopt the family and help bring a little cheer to their holiday. Once gifts were collected, the family was invited to her classroom to receive the gifts and allow her students to share in the experience of giving. Through this opportunity her students were able to understand that it’s important to care for others and help where they can.

Tyler notes, “In addition to academic and spiritual growth, life skills are an important part of the educational process because those are the skills that will enable students to effectively function and deal with life’s challenges. Students need to feel the success of working with their hands and affecting the community in a positive way.” 

Through this process, students able to learn some valuable skills and the local community benefited from the gifts that were given and the services that were provided.