One Class at a Time: Black Partridge Public Day School

Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 12:26 PM CST
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - A family mentality is the focus at Black Partridge Public Day School in Germantown Hills.

Started in 2017-2018, the program focuses on students with social, emotional or behavioral needs.

“I just think in general our students are an extension of us, so we just try to give them what we want to see if our life...We just want them to feel like they have a space here where they can feel safe,” said Madalyn Barbic, One Class at a Time Grant Winner.

Madalyn Barbic co-teaches in a high school classroom, but a career in education wasn’t always her plan.

She used to be a swim instructor at a YMCA.

“...He had autism so learning how to teach him how to swim and being a part of him opening up and doing something that was hard for him was something that was really inspiring for me. I changed my major and now I’m a Special Education Teacher.”

Donnie Tillman recently surprised her in the classroom as the winner of our One Class at a Time Grant.

When asked what she planned to do with the $1,000 Ms. Barbic knew her answer immediately. She wants to open a school cafe.

She said there was a program like this where she was a student teacher.

“High school students will be able to work on transition skills like get certified as a food handler and work on making different drinks. Then we’re going to be selling them to staff so it’ll be an awesome start up.”

Her hope is the shop will help students learn job-related skills they can put to use in the future.

For many teachers cost is a hurdle they often face, and this money will help lessen the load.

“Being a teacher you have to get creative with what you have available to you, but this is going to be super helpful for making a lot of cool ideas come to life.”

Ms. Barbic has developed a partnership with a local coffee shop who is planning to help students pour their creativity one cup at a time.