McKinney's Life Skills Academy teaches students about finances, cooking and more

During one of the classes at Life Skills Academy, students learn car and bike maintenance.

During one of the classes at Life Skills Academy, students learn car and bike maintenance.

Image description
McKinney March 2019 - Business 2
Image description
MCK0319-Business-3
Through a 10-week program, students ages 11-18 can learn a variety of everyday skills at Life Skills Academy.

Sam Banerjee, a father of three, opened the academy in McKinney as a way to teach his children and other youths skills not taught in everyday schooling.

“It just seemed there were a lot of important life skills that they were not learning in school and that they would need as adults,” he said. “And they were also being taught a lot of things that they would never use. So, I think there was room for a class that would help just everybody.”

Life Skills Academy opened its office in McKinney in 2017. Courses are offered in the fall, spring and summer with classes held in north Allen and Dallas. Classes are two hours long and take place Thursdays, Saturdays or Sundays. Participants decide which day to attend.

While the spring semester program is already underway, the summer program will begin in June.

Topics covered include critical thinking, financial literacy, time management, household maintenance, media literacy, communication, healthy living, exercise, car and bike maintenance, and more.

Some classes offer hands-on activities, games and role playing while others involve PowerPoint presentations and discussions, Banerjee said.

“We have a cleaning class where we have [students] vacuum the rug, and we talk to them about using a washer and dryer, and we have them iron,” he said. “... These are skills that some kids are doing already, but some aren’t, and I think it’s a good thing for all of them to see.”

Banerjee said he hopes to expand Life Skills Academy by offering a supplemental class in the fall.

“We are seriously thinking of adding an ongoing class, like an Adulting Skills 202, where we would go into these topics in greater detail,” he said. “We’re definitely planning to get that started.”
By Cassidy Ritter
Cassidy graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Journalism and a double minor in business and global studies. She has worked as a reporter and editor for publications in Kansas, Colorado and Australia. She was hired as senior reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Plano edition in August 2016. Less than a year later, she took the role of editor for the McKinney edition.


MOST RECENT

Here is the latest coronavirus update from Collin County. (Graphic by Community Impact Newspaper)
14 new cases of coronavirus, 2 deaths reported in Collin County

There were 14 new cases of coronavirus reported by Collin County health officials May 22.

Chiropractic offices are working to welcome patients back after a slowdown from the coronavirus. (Courtesy Fotolia)
McKinney chiropractors navigate patient slowdowns amid coronavirus

As the coronavirus made its impact on McKinney in mid-March, canceling elective surgeries and closing nonessential services, local health care offices felt the hit, even though some were open the entire time.

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that independent, freestanding ERs in Texas and several other states can be recognized health care providers eligible for reimbursement for treating Medicaid and Medicare patients during the coronavirus pandemic. (Cherry He/Community Impact Newspaper)
Freestanding ERs in Texas can now care for Medicaid, Medicare patients during pandemic

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that independent, freestanding ERs in Texas and several other states can be recognized health care providers eligible for reimbursement for treating Medicaid and Medicare patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Apex Centre in McKinney will reopen June 1. (Community Impact staff)
McKinney Parks and Recreation will reopen recreation centers June 1

As part of a phased reopening plan, the McKinney Parks & Recreation Department will open the Apex Centre, the Community Center and the Old Settler’s Recreation Center on June 1.

Mimi Conner (right) unloads food from her car after picking up nonperishable foods from the North Texas Food Bank and purchasing foods from Aldi, with help from volunteer Michelle Leavitt. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
North Texas Food Bank says new donation will provide 300,000 meals for residents in need

The North Texas Food Bank received a $100,000 donation from online retailer Amazon as the nonprofit continues to provide meals for residents in need.

As expected, McKinney did see a decrease in year-over-year sales tax revenue, though it fared better than other cities. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Sales tax revenue sees year-over-year decline in McKinney

McKinney is among hundreds of Texas cities that experienced a year-over-year monthly decline in sales tax payments during the early part of the coronavirus pandemic, according to state data.

The state-run testing program is expected to return to other areas of Collin County on a rotating basis every two weeks, according to a May 14 release from Collin County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Expanded testing, population growth in Frisco and 3 other DFW-area stories

Here are five recent updates from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, on a butcher shop in Keller, expanded COVID-19 testing in Collin County and more.

The county’s larger, more established cities saw low to moderate increases between 2% and 7%. This is because homes in these areas are more expensive and there is less space to build, one expert said. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Latest estimates show Collin County property values increasing by 4.53%

The preliminary property valuation countywide is $156 billion, compared with the 2019 certified tax roll of more than $149 billion, according to the latest numbers from the Collin Central Appraisal District.

texas-reopening
LIST: What is open, closed in Texas and how businesses can operate

Texas openings are staggered with different opening dates and operating limits.

The testing sites use self-swab tests for those who meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria. (Chase Autin/Community Impact Newspaper)
New CVS drive-thru COVID-19 testing locations announced across Dallas-Fort Worth area, state

CVS Health is opening 44 new COVID-19 test sites at drive-thru locations across Texas, including a number of locations in the DFW area, according to a May 21 announcement by Gov. Greg Abbott.

All patients, residents and staff at Texas' 23 state hospitals and supported living centers are to be tested for coronavirus. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas to test all state hospitals, supported living centers for COVID-19

All patients, residents and staff at Texas' 23 state hospitals and supported living centers will be tested for coronavirus regardless of symptoms or exposure.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from Collin County. (Community Impact staff)
Collin County reports 28 additional cases of coronavirus

An additional 28 positive cases of coronavirus were reported by Collin County health officials May 21.