Stevenson raffle proceeds to help fund new Life Skills Lab
A rendition of what Stevenson's new Like Skills lab would look like. | Courtesy of Stevenson High School
Updated: February 26, 2013 5:43PM
LINCOLNSHIRE — When the raffle winner is drawn at the American English Spotlight concert at Stevenson High School on Feb. 23, the community will rejoice in a win of its own.
The raffle drawing will not only signify that the ticket-holder has won a three-night trip to either New York, Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa or Napa Valley Wine Country, but it will also celebrate in the fact that the money from the ticket sales will be used to fund the Special Education Life Skills Lab.
Stevenson’s soon-to-be-built Life Skills Lab will replace the smaller makeshift areas that the school’s special education division currently uses for its Transition Services program. These areas are not equipped with the tools teachers need to properly simulate the real-life situations their students will eventually face after high school.
Though it will be available to all students, the Life Skills Lab will be used primarily for the students in the transition services program, as well as the autism, behavioral disorders, educational life skills and community-based job experience programs.
“These are students who have met the graduation requirements, but need more time with life and vocational skills,” said Special Education Teacher Traci Krawczyk.
When the new lab is built, it will have kitchen, dining and laundry facilities; activity rooms; office and retail work space; classroom instruction space; and specialized mobility and accessibility equipment. These features will be better able to help the students develop communication and social skills, knowledge about proper nutrition and fitness, transferable job skills, work behavior, and skills to care for themselves and their homes.
“We are very grateful to be able to use the area; it will provide a lot of opportunities for my students,” said Special Education Teacher Megan Sugrue, adding that the current area was useful, yet limiting.
Greg Diethrich, executive director of the Stevenson High School Community Foundation, explained that the foundation committed to raising $30,000 for the lab through its grants program as a way to mark its 20th anniversary at the school. He anticipates the program will succeed in reaching its fundraising goal.
The grants program is dedicated to supporting projects that aren’t funded or fully-funded by the school’s budget, though they promote the partnership between the students and members of the District 125 community, among other initiatives.
“Our mission is connecting the community and the school, and we are always trying to get feedback on where there is a need, and how we can help,” Diethrich said.
Krawczyk said that the special education department exhibited a more immediate need, as the school’s autistic population has tripled in recent years.
Those interested in donating to the cause or purchasing raffle tickets for $50 a piece or $125 for three can visit www.d125.org/foundation/lifeskillslab.aspx. The winner of the raffle will be drawn at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 at the American English Spotlight community concert, which will be held at the high school’s Performing Arts Center.~.