CULLMAN, Ala. – On Thursday afternoon, the Cullman County Child Development Center (CDC) hosted a ribbon cutting for its new Cullman County Life Center. Cullman County Schools renovated existing space and turned it into a fully functioning apartment including a living area, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom to work with students to teach them independent living skills for a successful post-secondary transition. CDC students will have access to a state-of-the-art facility that will foster success when they transition to the real world.
CDC Principal Trett Hardman revealed that construction commenced toward the end of the last school year, with significant progress made during the summer months. The project team worked tirelessly to ensure the facility was ready to welcome students as they returned to school this year.
Hardman emphasized the importance of preparing students for post-secondary success. He shared that the skills being taught at the facility, including kitchen safety, food preparation and cleaning, are all designed to empower students with the tools they need to lead independent lives.
“We want our kids to leave here and contribute to society, to have jobs but also live independently. So, part of that is being able to take time to teach those skills that they need to be successful,” he said.
Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette shared his enthusiasm for this new classroom. “We are so excited today to be able to cut the ribbon on this facility. This is something we’ve been working on, and the teachers have been wanting and they’ve been trying to raise the funds for it. Our school board stepped in and just finished the funding and then our maintenance department and the (Town) of Vinemont did all of the work. The Town of Vinemont came in and did a lot of the demolition and they donated some of the appliances and things, and my maintenance crew came in remodeled and repainted,” Barnette explained.
“You can see the excitement on the kids’ faces. Our hope for this facility is that our young people are going to learn those life skills so that one day they can live on their own and be able to know how to wash dishes and wash their clothes and make up their bed and cook for themselves. So we’re teaching a lot of life skills that they need to help them,” he said.
The teachers at the CDC are still looking for furniture to use for the living room space in the classroom. They are currently accepting furniture donations (couch, chairs, twin-sized bed, etc.). To donate furniture, call the front office at 256-739-0486.
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