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SHHS student creates project for preschool teachers

posted Jul 3, 2014, 7:26 AM by Jane Wilkins
Check out this great newspaper article that was published in the Daily Herald for all of Utah county.  It is a great article that highlights the skills students learn from FACS and FCCLA that changed lives.


Students headed to national FCCLA convention
Ashley Chidester and Shalese Black of Maple Mountain High School present their FCCLA project at BYU in Provo on Wednesday.

July 01, 2014 3:00 pm  •  Rena Lesue-Smithey Correspondent

SALEM -- Three teens from Nebo School District are headed to the National Leadership FCCLA Conference this weekend to present their STAR projects (Students Taking Action with Recognition) before a panel of judges.

Milani Lau of Salem Hills High, and Ashley Chidester and Shalese Black of Maple Mountain High, will be representing the south county with their projects on interpersonal communication and family budgeting. The convention will be held July 5-11 in San Antonio.

Lau's individualized project was intended for preschool teachers, providing information about the non-verbal language of preschool children and suggestions on improving scenarios in which a child becomes bored or restless. At the state competition in March, Lau, 17, placed first in her category for her two-part presentation: a poster board designed for preschool teachers and a PowerPoint display.

"I suggested to have several larger motor activities, called 'wiggle removers,' planned or ready to do if the kids were restless or not paying attention," Lau said. "The teachers should be proactive and take care of problems quickly.

"Another major thing I included was the teachers' body language and how it affects the children's behavior."

Lau feels FCCLA has helped her develop communication skills and self-confidence in presentations. Through her involvement, she has participated in several service projects and forged friendships with students from throughout the state.

"Honestly, I didn't even know what 'interpersonal communication' was before this project," she said. "Now I know several techniques to solve conflicts between a group of people with proper communication, and how to speak and interact with people while getting the correct message across."

Lau's project and membership in FCCLA has narrowed the scope of her future career, which she can now see clearly is the field of education. Traveling to the national conference will be an especially unique experience as she has never been on an airplane.

"I am super excited to fly to San Antonio," Lau said. "The thing I look forward to the most is being able to meet people from around the country who share common interests."

Chidester and Black will be attending with their cooperative PowerPoint presentation of their plans for their senior trip to Hawaii. Using skills obtained in FCCLA, they planned the trip by comparing prices, researching hotels, airlines, and activities, and utilizing their resources. They budgeted the trip to cost $5,000 each, and though their parents intend to contribute, the girls are both working to earn more than half the necessary funds.

"I teach piano lessons, and in the summers I have a job picking cherries," Black said. "I have almost $1,000 saved already."

Chidester has been earning money via hours and hours of babysitting and hopes to get another job this summer. The decision to vacation in Hawaii had much to do with the heritage of her mother, who is a native of the islands.

"We're really looking forward to going to the Polynesian Cultural Center," Chidester said. "We want to try a kalua pig and see professional hula dancers."

To personalize their experience, Chidester and Black budgeted for surf lessons and a tour of the Dole Pineapple Factory.

Many local students gathered June 18 for a practice session for nationals and to display their hard work for the Family and Consumer Sciences Conference held at the Wilkinson Center at Brigham Young University. Forty students from Utah County will be attending nationals, displaying skills in interior design, quilting, sewing, culinary arts and various service projects.

Chidester and Black attended the session, rehearsing their presentation and answering questions from attendees for nearly four hours. Their detailed and interactive presentation earned a gold medal at their region competition, one that included all of Nebo and Alpine School Districts, and earned a gold medal and first place at the state competition.

First-place winners receive $300 from the state to contribute to the travel expenses for the national competition.

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