Teaching Family Homes opens skill center

MARQUETTE- Teaching Family Homes opened its new skill center Wednesday with a ribbon-cutting and an open house.

The skill center is designed to provide TFH students with real life experiences that will give them the necessary skills to prepare them to be contributing members of society, a press release states.

“As an agency we teach them the social skills that they are going to need to survive in the world. We have a list of skills that comprise our teaching methods,” said Dave Mastric, service learning coordinator at Teaching Family Homes. “This building will provide the groundwork for our youth to learn work skills that will prepare them for a career beyond Teaching Family Homes.”

The students will work with hand tools to build and construct items as well as to repair items. The first class started Tuesday and the students are building a rolling work bench, Mastric said.

“Some of the things that the kids are learning along with the social skills is the math involved and expanding that math into real world application,” Mastric said. “They need to know how the math works so that when they are looking for an apartment late,r they can know that a 212 square foot apartment might be a little small.”

The skill center was funded by numerous cash donations from local businesses, plus donations from several local service organizations.

Despite the overwhelming response, the project still requires additional funding to supply the skill center with the necessary tools and supplies.

“We’ve been able to begin with some preliminary instruction, and while we are thankful for that, our long term plan requires the need for more equipment to truly make this a fully functioning skill center,” Mastric said.

TFH is looking for hand saws, hand planes, chisels, squares, nail sets, calipers, clamps, miter saw with safety guards, safety guards for a table saw and band saw, belt sander and other shop supplies. If anyone has any tools they aren’t using that are in good shape, TFH is asking for donations, said Rich Rossway, public relations for TFH.

For more information on the project or how to donate, contact Teaching Family Homes at 249-5437.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.