SKILLS Group of Charlotte is a non-profit organization created in 2007 in order to further educate teens and young adults with special needs. We facilitate activities and life skill experiences in a manner that builds confidence within our students, allowing them to interact with their communities in more fulfilling ways.

 

 

Academic Adventures

emphasizes reading through studying a variety of topics including music, technology, current events, literature, geography and math. We also provide opportunities to showcase our new skills through annual theater productions, musical performances and public speaking events

Healthy Choice

sessions aim to build and reinforce positive lifestyle habits by providing education through experience in gardening, cooking and personal fitness. Students benefit from the guidance of a professional chef and personal trainer

Fine Arts

lessons allow students to deepen their understanding of famous artists and composers, realizing how they contribute to our world today. Students also have the opportunity to develop their own artistic abilities by practicing musical instruments and creating original artwork

 

Sessions are held at Hope Community Church

4418 Rea Road

Charlotte, NC 28226

 
 

     Academic Adventures sessions take place every Wednesday from 2:30 to 6:00pm.  Certified teachers work with our students in both large and small-group settings in order to create an environment in which group members are motivated to learn, and can enjoy being around their peers.  Sessions typically have a desirable 1:6 Teacher-Student ratio (or lower) which allows us to ensure every student is getting the first-hand instruction which helps them learn most efficiently. Our lessons aim to fortify the academic capacity of our students by covering a wide range of topics including Math and Reading in order to better equip our students to carry out their daily activities independently, as well as help them reach their future academic goals.  These sessions are tentatively reserved for students aged 16 years and up. 

     We also offer Middle School Academic Adventures sessions every Monday from 3:00-6:00pm for students who are 11-16 years old.  These lessons serve to create a strong academic foundation for students who will soon be ready to transition into the Wednesday Academic Adventures sessions. 

     We have recently added the SKILLS Tech class which focuses on educating our students about how technology can be useful in our daily lives.  This class is specifically designed to expand our students' technological abilities in order to help them communicate with others, stay organized and engage in productive activities.

     Each year culminates with a production in which students are able to showcase their abilities.  Displaying the skills that they have worked hard to develop throughout the year is an important factor in our students' academic careers.  Our first two productions, "Twelve Angry Pigs" and "Cornfield of Dreams" were big hits with our families and friends!  Stay tuned for more information about our next play.

Get in touch find out more about our Academic Adventures.

 

 
 

     Our Healthy Choices program consists of lessons every Monday and Tuesday from 2:30 to 6:00pm.  By teaching our students how to grow fresh produce, exercise regularly and prepare healthy foods, we hope to instill lifelong habits which enable our students to live confidently and contribute more to the communities they are a part of. 

     Chef Mara Norris leads our Tuesday cooking sessions, teaching the students the basic skills required to begin food preparation, including kitchen safety and hygienic practices.  Chef Norris also selects healthy ingredients for our weekly sessions in order to create delicious and easy-to-make foods that our students can re-create at home.  Showing our students how every step involved in the production of good-tasting food that is beneficial for their well-being is important to helping students break bad habits of always eating the easy, unhealthy options available to them.

     Chef Jamie Suddoth runs our Sweet Monday sessions, offering education to students on ways to eat healthy, tasty foods. The pastries and baked goods produced from our Monday sessions are enjoyed by friends and family, and make for great prizes throughout the year and refreshments at the end of year production. Each class is finished with a Zumba session led by instructor Jessica Weill.

     Our gardening lessons are taught by experienced gardener Robin Gill, who manages a certified wildlife habitat in her own backyard.  Students receive hands-on guidance in the construction and maintenance of the SKILLS Garden, located in front of Hope Community Church and visible from Rea Road.  Mrs Gill teaches the students how to grow vegetables organically while also providing knowledge of beneficial insects and the flowers needed to attract them.  Students are given a reason to understand the weather and how it affects their surroundings.  Sessions are 30-90 minutes long, and take place at any time throughout Healthy Choices, depending on the weather. 

     We also emphasize the importance of physical education. Our classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays each include physical fitness activities typically lasting 30-60 minutes.  Al Bigley, a WITS certified personal trainer of Fitness on Call directs the segment each Tuesday, leading our students through simple weight-lifting routines using dumbbells and resistance bands.  Our Wednesday P.E. segments, directed by BJJ practicer and part-time wrestling coach Long Nguyen, focus on finding fun activities which require us to move.  Our Fine Arts Fridays classes include modern dance lessons taught by Danielle Gumb, a Board Certified Music Therapist.

 

 
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     Our Fine Arts program is designed to increase awareness of different forms of art as well as study famous artists and the work they have done.  Our Music Therapist Danielle Gumb, of G-Cleff, leads instructional group sessions which allow our students to experience creating music collaboratively.

     Mrs Gumb also tutors students individually, allowing them to master specific instruments. Students may choose to play the drums, piano, guitar or even take vocal lessons.  Our music lessons are opportunities which provide avenues for communication which assist our students in their expression of ideas and opinions.

     The SKILLS Chorus, which is open to any student enrolled in a session, has performed at numerous events including private concerts for the Brookdale Living Community of South Charlotte and our own theater productions. The Chorus practices for 45 minutes every Wednesday, and is led by Mrs Gumb. 

 
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