Liberty Bell Comprehensive Developmental Classroom students are not the only ones excited about the treats they are making. They also seem to be getting a lot of tail wags. The CDC class started a classroom business, Patriot Puppy Pal Treats, under the direction of CDC teacher Kelly Hernandez. The classroom business allows students to learn business skills while also building their independence.
“Our whole goal here is for our students to be independent when they leave us. Programs like this provide our students with the life skills they need to be independent,” Hernandez said. “We really break it down for the things that we take for granted, that we have learned through life that they are not always exposed to.”
The students made organic dog treats and it has allowed the kitchen to become their classroom as the teachers use functional academics to teach life skills that many of us take for granted. For instance, they do math when they measure the ingredients and they use reading as they gather the ingredients to cook. The students also have the opportunity to learn money skills and map skills as they navigate the hallways to deliver the orders.
“We have students, who I think excel in the classroom as far as reading and math. Those aren’t always the same students who excel in this environment,” Hernandez said. “We have some that just love to be in the kitchen and make puppy treats. This just gives them another way to succeed, another avenue where they can show that they do have skills and that they do have interest.”
The experience also provides them with the ability to learn how safely use the different tools and appliances that are found in kitchens.
The group started the venture in October and have picked up a lot of business from teachers in their school. Once the dog treats are baked, the students spend time counting them to put them in the bags to sell. Hernandez noted that another great asset that the group has is a fully functional kitchen that allows them to work with students on how to navigate the kitchen and tools carefully.
Another important aspect of the business is the social skills that it helps the students develop as they are out delivering the treats and initiating conversations. They are also learning map skills as they navigate Liberty Bell’s campus.
The money earned from the business will go to support the CDC program and the students will vote on how they use the funds. They will also use some of the funds to donate to charity, another thing that the group will vote on. However, the experience the students are gaining is invaluable.
The group normally makes bone-shaped treats, but they made heart-shaped treats for Valentine’s Day.
If people are interested in placing an order for the dog treats then they can contact Hernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org.