Students to learn ‘adulting’ at PAHS



H.G. Olsen Elementary School students Adriel Jimenez, center, and Ellie Travis, right, show the Jerry McDonald awards they won on Thursday, May 26. With them is Principal Kelye Garcie. Jerry McDonald citizenship awards are given out each year to two Brundrett Middle School eighth-graders, two Port Aransas High School seniors and two H.G. Olsen Elementary School fifth graders. McDonald was a popular young Port Aransan who was killed on March 8, 1969, in Vietnam. Photo by Mandy Fall

H.G. Olsen Elementary School students Adriel Jimenez, center, and Ellie Travis, right, show the Jerry McDonald awards they won on Thursday, May 26. With them is Principal Kelye Garcie. Jerry McDonald citizenship awards are given out each year to two Brundrett Middle School eighth-graders, two Port Aransas High School seniors and two H.G. Olsen Elementary School fifth graders. McDonald was a popular young Port Aransan who was killed on March 8, 1969, in Vietnam. Photo by Mandy Fall

There’s more to an education than reading, writing and ’rithmetic and Port Aransas High School graduating seniors are aware of that. In a survey a few years ago, they indicated they wanted to know more about “things like how to file your taxes, how to make a resume, how to wash clothes, cook and all the other things that you need to do as an adult,” said Dana Hawkins, a teacher at the high school.

Starting with the 2022-23 school year, Hawkins is responding to that need with Adulting 101, a class that will address those needs “and so much more,” Hawkins said. She’s going to need some help, though.

Each nine-week grading period over two semesters will address a new skill including cooking, sewing/cleaning, child development and budgeting/ taxes, she said.

“These areas will not only instruct the student in areas of financial literacy and parenting, but will challenge them to take responsibility for their futures,” she said.

The class is open to all students to “teach everyone all the basics of being an adult and living on their own,” she added.

The curriculum will come from the Family Consumer Science website and meet all state TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) standards for what students should know and be able to do.

Students in all grades may sign up for the course, but priority will be given to juniors and seniors. The administration still is working out details regarding how credits for the class will be assigned and if the grade will be figured into students’ grade point averages, Hawkins said.

The class is being funded in part by a $2,400 grant Hawkins received from the Port Aransas Education Foundation in April.

“But, just like when you got your first apartment, there are a number of things that simply would not fit into the budget that we need,” she said. “We will be using all the things that you would typically use in your kitchen at home. So, if you have gently used or even new kitchen items: plates, silverware, stand/hand mixers, or most any other kitchen item, we could definitely use the help.”

The class is “starting from scratch” to equip two kitchens, provide the tools for sewing lessons and child development.

Anyone who has items to donate may contact Hawkins via email at hawkins@paisd.net or bring the items to the high school office, 100 S. Station St., Monday through Thursday throughout the summer.

Hawkins is a PAHS English teacher and National Honor Society sponsor. She said she has incorporated all the aspects of Adulting 101 into the classes she has taught. And while she’s never taught a class devoted strictly to “adulting,” she says she’s the mother of five adult children and grandmother to four.

“I have learned so many valuable lessons and skills from my grandmother and peers and am so excited to pass those lessons and skills on to the next generation,” she said.

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