One class at a time: Cooking up success

By WEEK Producer
By Marc Strauss

February 8, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 4:11 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- What appears to be a home economics class at Richwoods High School is really much more.

"We're teaching them independence and how they can take care of themselves," said Connie Redshaw, District 150 Occupational Therapist. "Teaching simple meals, using a microwave, hopefully a stove."

But to buy that stove, District 150 Occupational Therapists Connie Redshaw and Teresa Stevens need money. Up until now, they've been spending their own money on kitchen supplies and equipment.

The reward has been watching their students, some of whom are autistic or suffer from physical disabilities, become more self-sufficient.

Now, Stevens and Redshaw are the recipients of the $1,000 One Class at a Time grant from HOI 19 News and CEFCU.

"This will get supplies and hopefully we can get some equipment like a used refrigerator, full size," said Stevens. "We have a mini refrigerator, but it doesn't hold much, and it doesn't have a freezer."

They'd also like to buy a blender and food processor in order to teach kitchen safety. The cooking class also provides a recipe for these students to work on their social skills.