Ferguson library’s ‘adulting’ classes teach important life skills

Friday, June 7, 2019

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Myesha Ware remembers learning how to sew on buttons and drive a car as a high school student in the 1990s. Now she laments that her daughter didn’t learn cursive or take a driver’s ed class before graduating.

Ware brought her daughter, I’lysa Walker, to the Ferguson Municipal Public Library for its Adulting 101: Life Skills, Life Lessons course. The free classes will be held monthly this summer with topics including cooking, budgeting, household maintenance and car repair, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

“Schools are pushing for tests and careers,” Ware said. “You can teach your kids, but sometimes you miss things.”

Adulting classes have popped up at libraries around the country in the past few years to teach young adults how to find a job, buy insurance, make a budget and change a tire. Organizers say the classes are a response to the lack of home economics, woodworking and auto shop offerings in American high schools.

Earlier this year, the teen lounge in the downtown St. Louis Central Library hosted adulting classes on apartment hunting, budgeting and tenants’ rights. Rachelle Brandel, Ferguson’s adult services librarian, said she decided to offer the classes after talking to library users in their 20s about what they’d like to learn.

“There’s always been a desire to gain the knowledge, but these topics can be daunting when going at it alone,” Brandel said.

Walker, 18, said she wanted to gain independence before starting college in the fall at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where she plans to major in pre-pharmacy. During high school, she focused on career goals, including a hands-on summer institute at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.