Kids put construction skills to the test

MVES third-grade teacher Kellie Carlee, left, helps her students, Chase Whitworth and Claire Findley, to construct their birdhouses at the school on March 19. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

MVES third-grade teacher Kellie Carlee, left, helps her students, Chase Whitworth and Claire Findley, to construct their birdhouses at the school on March 19. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Cidney Mitchell, a third-grader in Kellie Carlee’s class at Alabaster’s Meadow View Elementary School, knew exactly what she was going to do with the birdhouse she had just built on March 19.

“I’m going to paint it,” Mitchell said with a smile on her face as she joined her classmates in the school’s courtyard.

Mitchell already envisioned the tree on which she would hang the new birdhouse at her home, but she was still undecided which color she would paint it.

Mitchell’s classmate, Lilly Isley, had a similar plan, and couldn’t wait to show the new birdhouse to her family.

“I’m going to paint it purple,” Isley said confidently.

Mitchell and Isley were among dozens of MVES third-graders who created a thunderous chorus of taps on March 19 as they focused on hammering nails to construct small wooden birdhouses.

All of the birdhouses were donated by the Pelham Home Depot store through its community outreach program. MVES PTO and Home Depot volunteers provided guidance on the projects, but allowed the kids to work independently as they read instructions to turn blocks of wood into something they could be proud of.

“It lets the kids realize that they can do projects like this,” said Pelham Home Depot employee Edgar Rodriguez, who was helping Mitchell with her birdhouse. “That’s what I love to see.”

Carlee said the kids were excited about building the birdhouses in the days leading up to the project, and said the activity allowed the students to put their math knowledge to the test.

“We’ve been working on fractions and measurements, and this allows them to apply all of that into carpentry skills,” Carlee said, noting she was thankful for the Home Depot and PTO volunteers who were helping with the project. “They get to see how those skills apply to the real world.”