Miriam High School students hit grocery store aisles hoping to gain life skills, prepare for school’s upcoming ‘Friendsgiving’

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 5:39 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- A group of local students navigated busy grocery store aisles alone for the first time Thursday as they prepare for their school’s upcoming ‘Friendsgiving’ feast.

Miriam School and Learning Center specializes in in-depth curriculum that supports and serves students with developmental disabilities. More than a dozen students from Miriam High School took part in Thursday’s shopping spree, serving as an extension of their math curriculum.

“We’ve done units on measuring in the kitchen, how to add tips when you’re out to eat and now we’re at grocery shopping,” said Donna Higgins, a special education teacher at the high school. “We built the lists, went shopping and they have to decide what the best deals are and know how much of something they need.”

Higgins said the abilities of the students vary, but by breaking them up into teams, they work together to tackle their grocery lists.

“I want them to see what we’re doing in the classroom and how important what we’re learning in the classroom is out in the real world,” Higgins said. “We have four years when they come to us, four years to get them ready for life outside.”

Drake Wilkerson, 17, took part in the shopping event and served as a team leader.

“The bus ride was fun but this, it was fun shopping with friends,” said Wilkerson. “You have to have courage to be able to go up to someone and ask for help if you need it and I think I have courage.”

Mahlik Hall, Human resources business partner at Schnucks, gave the students a tour of the store before they began shopping. Hall also presented different job opportunities available for some of the students who may be looking for their first job.

“It’s a great chance to get them familiar with Schnucks so the next time they come, whether it be with their families or alone, they’re able to navigate the store,” he said. “Crunch time starts now, so crunch time is now all the way up to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving so we look forward to providing everything necessary.”

Higgins said for many students, the opportunity served as the first time they have been grocery shopping alone and responsible for the decisions of what to buy. It’s a skill she hopes they are able to build upon and carry with them post-graduation.

“I like to pretend I’m grown up,” said Wilkerson. “This was fun.”