H-F Barkery returns for a second year

H-F Barkery returns for a second year

H-F Barkery returns for a second year

Annelise Latham

Special Education teacher Brian McLaughlin’s vocational skills class has brought back the H-F Barkery for a second year.

The vocational skills class teaches job skills by selling dog biscuits, blankets and dry shampoo made by the students through the Barkery.

“We wanted something particularly hands-on,” McLaughlin said regarding the Barkery. “It’s helping students use skills we’re teaching like teamwork and communication skills, things students need to get those jobs. It’s mostly just real-life applications of what we’re learning in class.”

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, students would go to partner stores such as Walgreens, Bizio’s and Sunrise Health Foods, with job coaches and stack goods in stores to get job experience, but these partnerships largely fizzled during the pandemic and are actively in the process of being revived. 

“Hopefully, in the summer I’ll be able to contact them to set up things for the entire school year,” McLaughlin explained. “This way, the students coming in as freshmen and sophomores can train with this, and the older students with the experience can go out in the community.”

This could be brought back in the 2024-25 school year, but this is still up in the air due to no present communications between H-F and these businesses.

The Barkery not only positively affects the dogs and cats the items are made for, but knowing their skills are being appreciated by others also builds a warm feeling throughout the students who make them.

“Making the blankets is my favorite part of the Barkery so far,” senior Stephanie Chatman said. “It feels so good to know we’re helping the dogs stay warm.”

Senior Eliakim Taylor also loves being part of the Barkery.

“It’s a lot of fun to do this,” Taylor said. “I love being able to cut, make and deliver the stuff we make. I especially love making the blankets.”

These items can be purchased via Google Form, with dog treats and dry shampoo costing $10 per item and fleece blankets $15 each.

All profits are donated to the South Suburban Humane Society Homewood Adoption Center and the last day to order is May 23.

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    Terry Elanine ArmmerApr 25, 2024 at 9:19 am

    Mr. McLaughlin is doing an excellent job with the students. The students like what they are doing and they put a lot of effort into this project.