Thank you ChelseaUpdate.com for featuring this story by Lisa Carolin
Chelsea High School’s Independence Hall is one of the many beneficiaries of CEF funding.
“It’s a high school program for ninth through twelfth-graders that helps student access general education curriculum as well as learning to be independent in life,” explained CHS Special Education teacher Katy Fillion. “Independence Hall was started more than 30 years ago by Nancy Cooper.”
The life skills taught through Independence Hall include cooking, cleaning, personal management, budgeting money, hygiene, being able to navigate the community, and learning social skills.
CEF pays for Independence Hall students to take community based field trips to see cultural programs.
“CEF pays for programming at the University of Michigan’s University Musical Society, which offers world class music, dance, and theater,” said Fillion. “It’s a way to teach students about appropriate behavior in a theater, how to dress, and how to make choices. It’s a chance to expose them to the arts and let them practice what we’ve been learning.”
Funding from the CEF pays for ticket fees and for transportation that can cover anywhere between seven and 24 participants. Earlier this month, Independence Hall students had the chance to see Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor.
“When so many schools are cutting out the arts, it’s important that Chelsea has this,” said Fillion. “The more exposure kids have to these performances, the more likely they’ll be to go to them as adults. It’s nice to work in a district that sees the potential of our curriculum, and the CEF gives us the opportunity to expand our students’ horizons and prepare them for life after high school.”