Dime Bank has awarded $5,000 to The Light House’s Learning Campus in order to improve and renovate the existing life skills kitchen at our primary school. Our Learning Campus provides students with a unique, individualized learning experience that encourages community participation and self-sufficiency through applied life skills and vocational job training. It is composed of a primary and secondary school that serve students between the ages of 7 and 21 with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Every lesson that students receive focuses on preparing them for life through the development of social communication skills and integration into the surrounding community. Our life skills kitchen functions as a place for students in our schools to learn important lessons about cooking, cleaning, and safety, all of which contribute to lifelong independence.
These renovations will provide a safer and more functional space for our students to learn. This project will create a space that is safe, updated, and allows students to feel excited to spend their days there. These updates will send a message to students, family members, and community members that those with disabilities deserve a space where they can learn and grow.
Our organization’s mission is to not only educate our students, but to prepare them for life. The best way that we can prepare them for life after they leave our schools is to provide as many real-life opportunities as possible that they can use in the future. Renovating our life skills kitchen is extremely valuable, as programming in the kitchen is a key component of our Learning Campus. The kitchen is incorporated into the functional academics designed by our staff to promote healthy habits, independence, and responsibility. Participants’ experiences in the kitchen also prepare them for future volunteer and vocational opportunities in the community.
Our organization services a large portion of individuals who are developmentally disabled and diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Over the next 10 years, 500,000 people identified with ASD will be graduating and entering adulthood. With diagnosis rates climbing, there is more of a need than ever before to provide these life skills. We are thankful for Dime Bank’s support of The Light House and of our community. Learning these life skills is paramount to help our students on their path to adulthood and funding from Dime Bank allows us to help achieve this goal.