Eagle Valley hammering for Habitat | VailDaily.com

Eagle Valley hammering for Habitat

Cindy Ramunno Special to the Daily
Vail Daily/Coreen SappManuel Castillo helps Evaristo Jara hold a jig for predrilling a part of one of the cabinets that Eagle Valley High School students are building for Habitat for Humanity Wednesday afternoon.

High school students are getting more and more involved with the community. Community service has become a priority for teen-agers because colleges now look at a student’s civic involvement and volunteer work is a part of most schools’ curriculums.

Thirty-seven students at Eagle Valley High School are working with Habitat for Humanity and are in the process of building cabinets for the organization that builds homes for the needy.

Two houses are currently being built in Eagle by Habitat for Humanity volunteers and a group of Eagle Valley woodworking teacher Esgar Acosta’s students are using their building skills for someone other than themselves. The students are in the process of building cabinets for Habitat for Humanity homes.

Junior Chris Best says the project motivates him and his peers to work harder and create better projects. “We want the cabinets to look nice and we want them to be put together well,” says Best.

While Acosta was attending some classes at Colorado State University, he met up with Ken Baylor of the Crowley County Correctional Association. The duo worked up an agreement for students to build the cabinets for homes built by Habitat for Humanity.

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“This experience is teaching kids a great foundation for woodworking,” says Acosta. “It relates to job experience and well as community learning.”

Acosta also says that kids are learning responsibility, respect, discipline and organizational skills. Since Habitat is not imposing deadlines on the projects – the cabinets are for future homes – students are really learning the skills and building the cabinets with great care and precision, he says.

“The cabinets go through an inspection process, so that will also be a learning experience for the students,” says Acosta.

Some high school shops run a business and make a profit on production, but Eagle Valley High School is still building its program. “These kids are doing something for someone who can’t afford a home – not for the money,” Acosta says.

Students say they are happy to help. “It’s a neat deal that we’re doing this for someone else instead of ourselves,” Best says.

And that is an education all in itself. Acosta says he also sees the potential for Eagle Valley High School woodworkers to participate in more community projects.

For more information on this program or other programs at the high school, call 328-8960.

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