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.

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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.”
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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.


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