Life Skills

In 1981, the Human Service Division began its Life Skills program, teaching students at Eisenhower Jr. High and Westview Hills Middle School to address the social and emotional needs of the students. Our program has expanded over the years and we now offer Life Skills instruction in twenty-one primary and middle schools, both public and private, in Downers Grove Township. Over 3,400 students are served by this program, which focuses primarily on preventative education.

The program topics include:

• Character Education / Anti-Bullying / Empathy; grades 4-6
• Drug and Alcohol Prevention / Education; grades 6-8
• Goal Setting / Stress Management; grades 6-8

This program is designed to help fulfill the State Board of Education’s “Social and Emotional Learning Standards.” Each offered program uses grade level appropriate concepts and materials to teach specific skills to students in 4-8 grade.

Character Education/Anti-Bullying/Empathy:
The goal of this course is to impress upon students the effects of bullying and to build a better understanding of overall “Character Education.” A key concept in this course is practicing Empathy through various engaging activities. This course is available to students in grades 4-6. SEL Standards: 1A.2a., 1A.2b., 2A.2a, 2A.2b, 2A.3a., 2A.3b., 2B.3a, 2B.3b.

Drug and Alcohol Prevention/Education: The goal of this course is awareness and prevention. Through the use of interactive activities and research via secure websites, students learn about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and the life changing concequences these drugs can have on users. Additionally, we bring in guest speakers from Abraxas Treatment Center who speak with students about how their own drug and/or alcohol addiction has altered their lives. This course is available to students in grades 6-8. SEL Standards: 1B.3a., 2D.3b.

Goal Setting and Stress Management: This is an interactive course that helps students start visualizing their future self. Using the S.M.A.R.T. goals format, through engaging activities, students sketch out their academic, career and personal goals. The stress management part of this course can be taught along with the goal setting or can be separated into it’s own offering. The goal of the stress management course is to define stress and then learn and put into practice healthy techniques to relieve that stress. SEL Standards: 1A.3a., 1A.3b., 1C.2a., 1C.2b., 1C.3a., 1C.3b.

The Township employs two part-time teachers, Julie Waterman and Jennifer Peckenpaugh. Both teachers are licensed School Counselors. The Life Skills curriculum uses a variety of techniques to teach material, including multimedia tools and experiential activities, which allow for individual and group participation. The curriculum is updated on a yearly basis.

For more information regarding these FREE classes to our local schools, contact either one of our Life Skills Educators at the Township.


Julie Waterman

Life Skills Teacher
Division of Human Services
Phone: 630-719-6681
Email: julie.waterman@dgtownship.com

Jennifer Peckenpaugh
Life Skills Teacher
Division of Human Services
Phone: 630-719-6687
Email: jennifer.peckenpaugh@dgtownship.com

 

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