The Holland Township School’s Life Skills Program includes four components: A kids café, a school store, a recycling student team, and “the buddy bench.” In the kids café, students learn how to cook simple, nutritious recipes which encourages independence, allowing  them to become more self-sufficient. Students learn how to run a business from filling food orders to packaging and delivery of the goods.

The recycling team collects recyclable products from elementary and middle school classrooms. The experience promotes a strong work ethic, engages them in social situations with the teachers, and makes them aware of how to protect our environment.

In the school store, students sell school supplies and trinkets to elementary and middle school students. The students display the items, provide change when needed, and invite their peers to buy and assist them with their purchases. The goal is to teach them how to run a business, maintain inventory, and manage money.

The Buddy Bench is a place in the school yard where students can sit to let others know they want to talk or play. It encourages students to foster friendships, kindness, and self-esteem.


Contact: Sandy Phillips, special education teacher, [email protected]

Winner, Innovations in Special Education Award, 2015