Construction of an 1,100-square-foot home to benefit Habitat for Humanity is under way at North Surry High School.
The effort is a partnership between Habitat, Surry Community College, North Surry and the Surry County Board of Education.
County Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Dr. Terri Mosley said the class was made possible by the state’s Career and College Promise Program. Talks about the class began more than two years ago. Mosley praised the county Board of Education for its support.
Career Development Coordinator David Hayes and Director of Career Technologies Education Jill Reinhardt said this is a chance to give students hands-on training. Hayes is also a member of Habitat Board of Directors and helped get Surry Community College as a partner. Reinhardt said the effort would help students transition to Surry Community College.
“We are looking to be innovators for K-12 Education,” said Reinhardt. “This experience will meet the curriculum requirements for North Carolina and Surry Community College. These students need to learn hands on and simply cannot get this in a classroom. This is our first time doing this. It is a partnership like never before. We can serve our community and students in one fell swoop.”
“The attention here today is on you (students) and not us,” School Superintendent Ashley Hinson told students recently when talking about the program. “It’s important to me that you know why you are going to school.” He told the group that officials are looking to identify a deserving North Surry student and family to be the recipients of the home.
Hinson recognized North Surry English Teacher Myra Combs for providing an on-line class for participants that emphasizes using English skills to understand informational texts and teaching students informational writing technique that is industry related.
“We are dealing with basic, carpentry-specific texts. They seem to enjoy this more than Beowulf,” joked Combs. “Their response has been good. They are doing well on responsibly completing their work on time.” She added that students can also seek her help in the classroom if they need it.
Board of Education Member Clark Goings was enthusiastic about the project.
“I think it’s a win-win opportunity,” said Goings. “This will help a needy family from our county and the students will be getting hands-on experience on school property.”
North Surry Principal Bill Goins explained that previously planners had visited similar programs in Lee County. The current building site behind the school also minimizes transportation costs and lost time.
“Anytime you can get students to put hands on it provides vital learning experience,” said Goins. “Partnering with Surry Community College and Habitat is a great thing for our community. It’s exciting to see it come together.”
SCC Dean of Business, Technologies and Health Sciences Michael Miller said the effort was new for Surry Community.
“This represents two to three years of discussion with John (Young) who has been looking for live projects. You’re not going to learn this in a book,” added Miller.
Habitat for Humanity Financial Director Sheree Russo said that the group is in need of homes to decrease homelessness. She said the program provides homes with zero percent interest mortgage loans for 25-30 years. Participating families also must work on building their new home and work on a home for another family.
Russo said Habitat’s goal is to provide families simple, decent affordable housing for families that qualify. She said Habitat is not a hand out it is a hand up. The group is looking for a donation of parcel of land within five mile of the school to relocate the home to once it is finished. She said interested persons can contact Habitat at 789-4663 for more information.
Other notable persons in attendance for the launch of the program included Habitat Board of Directors Chairman Sandra Richards, Executive Director of Habitat Lynn Wilkes, Vice President of Surry County Economic Development Lee Ann Stokes, Surry Community College Instructor John Young, North Surry Instructor Chad Miller and Board of Education Member Sue Stone.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952