Home News Walnut Elementary School-Teays Valley Students Embrace Life Skills at Jackie Ray’s Grill

Walnut Elementary School-Teays Valley Students Embrace Life Skills at Jackie Ray’s Grill


Circleville, Ohio – May 10, 2024

It was a day of culinary exploration and practical learning for the bright students of Walnut Elementary School-Teays Valley, particularly those under the guidance of Mrs. Bumgarner’s class. Today, these young scholars were treated to a special lunch at Jackie Ray’s Grill, where they had the opportunity to put their acquired life skills into action, much to the delight of onlookers.

“The students have been working on their life skills while applying academic concepts taught throughout the year.  We cook and enjoy a meal together every Friday.  They decide on a menu, budget, and shop for items needed then follow the recipes and directions.  Table clothes are brought out and the table is set with real dishes.  Table etiquette and manners are practiced.   Almost everything taught in the classroom is based on real-life skills.  Once learned the next step is for the students to apply it to real life.  Vince, the owner of Jackie Raye’s did not hesitate when approached with the idea of the students coming for lunch.  Colton Henson immediately offered to cover the cost of the meals.  Other donations were used to make sure each student was dressed to the nines.  Robin Welsch, Cathy Cook,  and Grace Gilliland donated their time to make the day perfect for the students. On the way back to school some of the comments were,  “This is the best day of my life, that was a fancy place. I am glad I wore a suit.  I’m going to be a chef when I grow up so I can make people smile, said Shannon Bumgarner

For these students, the journey towards mastering essential life skills has been an ongoing endeavor, seamlessly integrated with academic teachings throughout the school year. Every Friday, they embark on a culinary adventure, meticulously planning menus, adhering to budgets, and venturing out to shop for the necessary ingredients. Once back in the kitchen, they diligently follow recipes and directions, transforming raw ingredients into delectable meals.

However, their learning experience extends far beyond the kitchen. With real dishes, tablecloths, and napkins adorning the table, the students immerse themselves in the art of setting a proper table, while also honing their manners and engaging in meaningful conversation with their peers.

Today’s culinary escapade wouldn’t have been possible without the early opening of Jackie Ray’s Grill and the generous support of TV alumnus Colton Henson, whose donation funded the delightful meal. Henson expressed his admiration for Mrs. Bumgarner’s innovative approach to education, stating, “I happened to be in the right place at the right time to hear about the work Shannon Bumgardner is doing along with some peers. The next thing you know we came up with a whole plan to teach life lessons in a restaurant setting. If I can give a small donation to make days like that happen, it is the least I can do. I’m proud of our schools for this and I’m proud of Vince O’Brien and his staff at Jackie Rays for putting it on.”

As the students savored their culinary creations, laughter and joy filled the air, serving as a testament to the invaluable lessons learned beyond the confines of traditional classroom walls.