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Keeping FACS Alive: Forgetting gender stereotypes for FACS inclusion in NY

promoting-facs-guideThis summer Learning ZoneXpress has been asking teachers how they are keeping FACS Alive in their classrooms and schools. We were thrilled with the response and are happy to share the stories. We would love to hear from you! Help us spread the awareness of FCS in the classroom today and share your story with us. Long live “Home Ec”!

18 Years ago I became one of the first male FCS teachers. I was brought in by a fantastic principal who saw the opportunity to expand the program. He thought it would be outstanding to have a male also working in the department. He also found and hired a female technology teacher. We were cutting edge. I was very proud and continue to this day thinking we have one of the most interesting, valuable programs for students.
I started with 40 weeks lessons but due to cuts over the years we are down to 30 weeks for each middle school student. It is no longer offered at our high school, which is very unfortunate. I could do so much with these kids, but we all know how that goes!

We work very hard to keep current some of our curriculum includes:
A lot of food safety
Basic food preparation and sanitation
Healthy food choices and nutrition
Basic hand sewing
Character development
Community service
Making good choices
Career exploration
Teen pregnancy
Also we do some classes with 8th grade on STD awareness and peer pressure
I am sure I am forgetting something

*We run a school store with school supplies and snacks. This has been up and running for 4 years now. Its really awesome and although all kinds can not work it, we get many through the door throughout the year to gain work experience, etc. It is fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have been blessed to work with great people in my department both past and present. It has been an honor and one of the best decisions I have made in my lifetime!! As times change, so does our curriculum, but as you said LONG LIVE FCS, a program so very needed in every school. As standards go crazy people forget the basics of survival and everyday living and life-skills. The skills needed for everyone to succeed!

John Testa
Lockport City School District

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