'Game of Life' Teaches Valuable Life Skills

The 'Game of Life' Teaches East Seniors Valuable Life Skills
Posted on 10/18/2019
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students changing a tire and students learning about networkingDo you know how to change a tire? Manage a budget? Write a resume?

Lakota East seniors are getting the chance to learn these and many other important skills in a new course called the 'Game of Life'.

For 12 weeks during XH (extra help period), students can participate in this inaugural sprint course.

The idea to start XH sprint courses was initiated by East Chemistry teacher Liz Gosky.  “I wanted to bring ideas/issues/cross curricular activities to students that we don't get to teach in our regular classes due to time constraints.” She sat down with her colleague Kate Joseph to collaborate on a sprint course about the 'Chemistry of World War 2'. 

“As we began brainstorming on the idea of sprint courses, we decided to start small with the senior class,” said Gosky. “We came up with the Game of Life to try to incorporate life skills that we all know that our seniors need to know when they walk out of our doors at East into the real world.”

Gosky then pitched the idea to Lakota’s Strategic Partnerships Coordinator, Katie Bauer, who helped find contacts in the community to teach the classes.

Twelve sprints were developed to teach life skills including: 

  • Filling out the Common App College Application
  • Using Social Media to Improve your Digital Footprint
  • How to Prepare for Life's Unexpected Events (changing a tire and car safety tips)
  • 7 Steps to Financial Independence
  • Let's Talk About Connecting and Collaborating
  • Self Defense
  • How to Live your Healthiest Life
  • Excellence through Ethics
  • On the Move (signing a lease, renter's insurance, apartment search, etc.)

East is still in the process of finding speakers to discuss topics such as searching for a job, interviewing, time management, taxes and credit safety.

“The intent of the Game of Life course is to help students be better prepared for life after East, wherever their path will take them,” said Gosky.

The sprint sessions are taking place during the months of October and November. It is not a requirement that students attend any or all of the events, but those that attend at least six sprints will be entered into a raffle for the chance to win free prom tickets.

About 10-20 students are attending each session. The most popular event to date: changing a a tire. Earlier this year East senior Nkem Azuka had a flat tire and she had to pay someone to change it. Now she can do it herself. She has attended every session so far and likes that they are so practical. “I was looking forward to today’s session on networking, because I know that making connections can make all the difference in getting an internship or a job.”

Senior Ali Lewis agrees. “These sessions have been really good to help prepare us for life; they are things we don’t get to learn in regular classes.”

During this week's XH sprint class, area businessman Mike Peters shared tips on how to connect with people and build relationships. One of his biggest tips: get rid of the fear of asking for help. “Seek out mentors to get help along the way in life. Most of the time, those of us who are asked are honored to be able to help. And never forget the best way to truly build relationships is meeting with someone face-to-face.”

The Game of Life is allowing East to try out the idea of XH sprint courses and work out logistics for scheduling. When the sessions are over, East will take a look at how to improve and refine XH sprint courses for the future. “I would love to have more speakers from outside organizations share their stories with our students,” said Gosky. “And I hope we can expand the program, offering opportunities for all students, not just seniors, on all kinds of topics.”