By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News
DANVILLE — Hackey House students are crafting up handmade goods for community members to purchase.
The students, all members of the Danville High School’s transition program, got to show off their handiwork to family and friends at their open house, held Oct. 2 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The open house “gives the community a chance to see what they (the students) can do,” said Andrea Stine, a life skills teacher with the school district.
Items crafted by students included braided rubber band spirit bracelets, parachord spirit bracelets, earrings, and bottlecap necklaces, bracelets and magnets.
Costs of the different jewelry items ranged between $1 and $5.
The Hackey House students will begin crafting more intricate pieces later this year, similar to ones started by last year’s class. Those designs are more intricate and will take more time for the newer students to learn, said Stine.
New products being created by Hackey House students this year include dog treats and themed gift baskets. A coffee basket was assembled using products from Danville business Bason Coffee Roasting. Another, the “Boy’s Basket,” had various superhero-themed products and toys in it.
In the future, the Hackey House plans to sell holiday-themed baskets and “get well” baskets for friends and relatives to buy patients at Geisinger Medical Center.
The price on baskets runs between $8 and $20.
Other items created and sold by students include greeting cards for $1 each and snacks such as caramel popcorn and chocolate-covered pretzel sticks each for $1 a bag.
“It gives them (the students) a sense of pride and ownership when people use their products,” said Sandy Stefanovige, paraprofessional house manager for the Hackey House.
Proceeds generated from sales go to fund supplies for the Hackey House, which is heavily used for instruction by the transition program, as well as educational trips for transition students.
The transition program plans to open a store at the former Danville Elementary School building, located on Front Street, later this fall to sell items made at the Hackey House, said Krista Seldomridge, transition coordinator for Danville High School.
Lauren Reibsome, a Danville High School freshman who just started with the Hackey House program, has been helping create jewelry and other items. Like many transition students, Lauren also works in the community as well, in her case at Mill Street’s Fancy Pants Boutique. There, she helps take inventory, stock shelves and cleans the store.
“I like it because you get to know people at the job and you get to learn how to do the job,” she said.
The benefits of the students learning crafts both at the Hackey House and at local businesses is that they learn to work as a team, develop motor skills and cooperation, said Stefanovige.
“Since we’ve come here, it’s so interesting to hear the parents talk about how they’ve grown,” said Stine.
Orders for products made by the Hackey House students can be placed by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hackey House jewelry can also be purchased at Mill Street’s Princess Fancy Pants Boutique.
Email questions or comments to email@example.com.