Whether you call it Life Skills, Family and Consumer Science or good old Home Ec, Oceanport middle school students will get a dose of cooking and sewing as part of their curriculum this school year.
Following a two-year hiatus, is reintroducing a life skills course into the cycle for fifth through eighth grade students, which will be taught by Terry Finnegan who has 13 years of experience teaching students how to boil water and sew a button.
Finnegan is returning to that role after serving as a basic skills teacher for the school when the life skills course was eliminated in 2010 due to budget cuts, according to Schools Superintendent Andrew Orefice.
"It was one of the jewels of the district," said Orefice of the class that introduces students to nutrition and food safety -- with some basic tailoring thrown in -- over a 60-day period.
The school maintained the classroom -- which is equipped with all sorts of cooking equipment, stoves and even a washer and dryer -- so bringing the course back didn't require any additional expenditures.
"It opens another door for our students," said Orefice of the class.
Life Skills will join technology, art, gym/health and Spanish as part of the group of classes students cycle through every 60 days throughout the school year.
"These are basic skills that kids need nowadays with everyone so busy," mom Christianne Harvey told Patch when we stopped by the school earlier this week. "I think it's so important for kids to learn the basics."
Upon learning the course was coming back, her son JP, 12, said, "Awesome."