Strengthening Pathways---Learning and Growing New Skills

The Strengthening Pathways Program is in full swing at Lighthouse! We have many participants who have recently returned and are quickly adjusting to the many changes in the program. Staff plan and offer a variety of activities, games, and classes throughout the day for the participants to choose from. There is always something new happening in Strengthening Pathways; below are some of the highlights that participants have enjoyed over the past few months.

Cooking and baking class has been a favorite activity for many in Strengthening Pathways. It provides opportunities for participants to learn skills such as following directions, food prep, measuring ingredients, using two hands to complete tasks, food safety, etc. Some meals have been given away to bless a family and other dishes and snacks are eaten by the participants so that they can enjoy the delicious food they made!

Strengthening Pathways’ participants and staff always love a visit from their furry friend Gussie! Sandy Miller, Transportation and Safety Coordinator, has graciously brought her dog Gussie into the building multiple times to teach facts about dogs and shows. She shares updates about different shows Gussie has competed in. The participants love cheering for and petting Gussie and look forward to when she can visit the them.

(Keith L is pictured here with Gussie)

Another class that many in Strengthening Pathways enjoy is sign language. We have learned basic phrases such as please, thank you, and sorry. We have covered the alphabet, numbers, colors, days of the week, animals, and more! Some participants already know sign language, and they are very helpful with showing the group signs that they are working on. Participants as well as staff are learning new signs together to expand their knowledge and communication skills.

Every Wednesday afternoon, Strengthening Pathways enjoys a cardmaking class led by Jeanne Weber and Jen Swanson. This time has easily become a favorite for many participants, even those who don’t always choose to do art and crafts!

The participants receive a bag full of all the supplies needed to make one card and follow step by step instructions given by staff. They have learned how to use a tape gun—which improves the process to assemble the card—and use fine motor skills to carefully place paper and pictures on the cards. During the one-hour class, each participant creates one or two beautiful, unique greeting cards.

Keep an eye on the LVS website to see these cards and other beautiful artwork such as framed watercolors and canvases available for purchase soon!

Strengthening Pathways is all about providing opportunities for growth and allowing participants to make choices of what they would like to do throughout their day. They are encouraged to try new activities because they may find something new that they like do! However, each person has skills and talents that they bring into Strengthening Pathways, and it’s a blessing to see them grow, succeed, and become more confident.

~Kirsten Weiler, Program Specialist


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