CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. — The Town of Clifton Park has scheduled a day of free instructional sessions in everyday life skills as a way for high school students to fill in a few gaps in their knowledge and give them a solid foundation to build for their adult lives.
Life Skills Day offers high school students who live in town, whether they go to private school, public school, or are home schooled a chance to acquire hands-on-skills along with important information that will be useful immediately and for years to come.
The sessions will be held at town hall starting at 9 a.m. Sept. 28. Any student wishing to sign up can register via the town’s website. Times for the sessions have yet to be released.
The day includes instructional sessions in personal finance, interviewing skills, borrowing money, investments and insurance, skills for handling automobile issues, information on the town’s Youth Court, and a session on the country’s founding documents led by Town Supervisor Philip Barrett.
Barrett said the sessions fit nicely into the town’s offerings of programs that it makes available for people of all ages.
“We have a plethora of camps, activities and programs and for a few years now we’ve had the Youth Court, so we feel offering what we believe to be important life skills to high schoolers is something we think families will appreciate,” he said. “We believe we’ll be very successful in relaying this knowledge to them with the help experts in their fields.”
Three of the six programs will be led by town staff. The three other sessions will be run by people who work in the private sector. Barrett sees this event as the first in a series of Life Skills Days that offer different types of sessions. The program is expected to eventually expand to all ages.
“Offering these life sessions to high school students makes sense when you consider the totality of the programs we offer,” he said. “Take our Youth Court. Those who take part in it learn much more than just the workings of the judicial system. But these skills we’re going to offer here are tangible skills and knowledge that they can carry with them for the remainder of their lives.”
By the end of the sessions, Barrett said he fully believes that those who participate in them will have more confidence, more knowledge and some hand-on skills.
“Our goal is to have a day where the students feel their time was well invested, our private sector partners feel their time was invested well, and the entire community has come together to benefit our high school students,” he said.
Barrett, who is a parent of a high school student himself, says the topics for the sessions came from speaking with high school students as well as their parents.
“These were things that came from the kids themselves; things that they wanted to know. And the parents wanted their kids to have the opportunity to learn these things from people in the industry,” he said. “For instance, what will drive up your car insurance, how does car insurance work in the first place, or how to be better at interviewing.”
In discussing the session he will lead on the country’s founding documents Barrett said he feels the teens can benefit from more discussion centered on the founding documents of the U.S. and the information that’s contained in them; like why the country is founded the way it is.
“I’m not saying they haven’t heard of these documents,” he said. “I just think they could benefit from having a discussion on the foundation of the country, the structure we have, the process, and why the structure we have, that was established through these documents, is the way it is.”
Barrett added that he also believes all teens can benefit from learning how to check the oil in a car, change a flat tire, and how to use jumper cables correctly.
“This is a natural progression based upon the new programs we’ve made available,” he said. “We, as a town, offer a wide range of programs for people and this is another one. It’s something we’re pleased to invest our time in to help our high school-age kids with some additional help. The reaction so far has been very positive.”
Students can register by going to www.cliftonpark.org and clicking on the “Services” tab.