Almaguin Highlands students give back to the community

·2 min read

In a few weeks the Dunchurch Agricultural Society will have a pair of gate booths at the entrance to its fairgrounds thanks to the work of students at Almaguin Highlands Secondary School. The idea for the gate booths came from Darran Andersen, the school’s manufacturing technology teacher and a director with the agricultural society. Andersen figured the fairground could use the gate booths and realized this would be a good learning opportunity for the construction class students. Agricultural society colleagues embraced the idea, as did Shendah Davy, specialty department supervisor at the Home Depot in Parry Sound. Home Depot is a community partner of the high school. Davy recognized Andersen's request for support would be a good fit for Home Depot Canada's associate-led volunteer force, Team Depot. Andersen and his Almaguin construction teacher colleague Carter Schaffner picked the four students who would be part of the project. The students went through two weeks of class time on what the project entailed and then built the gate booths over one day. The Near North District School Board says teachers and Home Depot volunteers helped the students pick up new information on trusses, pitch and slopes of roofing. The board says the project gave the students the chance to hone their skills and apply what they learned in a real setting. Making the gate booths allowed the students to give back to the community, a point that wasn't lost on Andersen. Andersen said the students learned first hand how important local volunteers and local organizations are and what they bring to small communities. “The students felt they contributed in a very positive manner to support local organizations and businesses,” Andersen said. “They identified the importance of working together to complete the work in such little time. And they were very proud to demonstrate the skills they had already learned to the volunteers from Home Depot Canada.” Andersen also said the students “were impressed” with their accomplishment. He says the project took shape quickly and the students were able to complete all their work in one day. Davy says Home Depot Canada tries to engage with community projects, like the gate booths, on a regular basis. She adds the gate booth project “was the first we've done since COVID, so we were rather excited to get back out there in the community again.”

Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget

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