Over the past 10 years Pathways has been dedicated to continuing the education of its students. For many adults with intellectual disabilities if they do not practice the skills they learn in school, over time they could lose them. Pathways lessons range from music to math to the art of conversation. Here are the student voted top 10 Pathways lessons.
Each morning students grab their planners and write down the schedule for the day. This helps students learn what lessons are on the schedule and note if there is something different from their normal daily activities. It is also a great way to practice the fine motor skills required to write, reduce stress, and improve memory.
Prodigy is a math game where players use math to battle monsters. The game can be played on a computer or tablet anytime and anywhere you can connect to the internet. The game is a fun alternative to regular math lessons. We are able to program what lessons students work on and gather information on what activities students excel in and what they could use help with. Over the past year, Prodigy has become a fan favorite.
The art of conversation is something that for many people is lost. People listen to respond rather than listening to hear and understand. At Pathways students work on listening to hear and how to ask questions to continue a conversation and learn more about the people they are speaking with. Often times people in the community do not know how to talk to our students, not realizing that you can talk to them just like anybody else. By providing conversation practice and tips, students can connect with people and feel like they are part of their community.
A big part of our Bible study classes is prayer requests. This time allows students to ask for support from their friends, pray for each other, and praise God for the things He’s provided. Students enjoy this time of fellowship and the chance to care for each other. Students ask for prayers for sick loved ones, upcoming Special Olympics events, and for Pathways. It always warms the staff’s hearts to hear the students ask for God’s continued support of Pathways. This unwavering faith and love of the program makes our work feel all the more important and fuels the desire to keep serving these students.
It seems no surprise that our tastiest class is a student favorite. Over the last 10 years students have enjoyed all kinds of recipes, explored new flavors, and developed skills that they can use in their own kitchens. Student favorites range from peanut butter snacks to vegetable lasagna. They have discovered new healthy food favorites like stuffed peppers and spaghetti squash. Keep a lookout for our post about student’s top 10 recipes later this year!
Being confident in making purchases is a huge step to toward independence. Students practice math problems where they work on saving for long-term and short-term purchases, counting change, and making every day purchases.
Fitness and Health
Students love fitness class. This is an unexpected fan favorite as most people don’t get excited about hitting the gym. From dance sessions and walks to Special Olympics track and swimming, students really enjoy being active with their friends.
A pillar of Pathways is to help students grow in their Christian faith. This happens two-fold with prayer circles and daily Bible study. Students enjoy reading from the Bible and discussing how the lessons relate to their daily lives.
As stewards of the Christian faith we find it important to give back to the community that gives us so much. Each week students volunteer at the community food bank and assisted living facilities. Together they go to work sorting items and getting things ready for distribution. At assisted living homes they perform songs and spend time with the residents talking and playing games. Helping people brings Pathways students so much joy and they love getting to connect with members of the community.
January 2018 marked the start of the Pathways Book Club. Students broke into small groups based off their interests and read and discussed their book of choice. Over the past year and a half, students have enjoyed great works including “A Wrinkle in Time”, “Wonder”, “Freckle Juice”, “James and the Giant Peach”, “The Lightning Thief”, and “A Wind in the Door.”