SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Local high school students are literally building a better tomorrow for families this summer.
The Springfield Public Schools summer program has partnered with Habitat for Humanity.
Through the SPS Explore program, students will spend two classroom days learning how to use construction tools and safety procedures, followed by two weeks of building.
A construction site may seem like an unusual place to find teens during the summer, “I know that’s not something I’m familiar with and I probably should be eventually if I’m going to own a house,” explains Regan Puckett, Parkview High School Senior.
But for some this place is a rewarding opportunity. “If anything happens or if I want to DIY something, it’s actually good to know the tricks.”
Most have never picked up a tool, “I haven’t used a hammer literally until this experience.” And that’s the beauty of the experience to students like Puckett.
“I think it’s great that we have opportunities where schools have partnered with organizations. So it not only teaches kids the skills they need to learn, but it also teaches them to appreciate giving back to the community.”
Kurt Jentzsch is the Construction Coordinator with the Habitat for Humanity. He tells KOLR10, “these kids wouldn’t be out here in the summer doing this if they didn’t want to learn some new skills.”
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Jentzsch says teaching these teens is a great investment. “That’s what I’ve learned is how special it is that people are so willing whatever age to learn new skills, enjoy helping the community.”
These students are learning skills that will help them as future homeowners and also some life lessons.
“They get tired, but they’re learning work, that the floor doesn’t lay itself, they have to work to put it down. I think a work ethic in young people and to learn that at an early age is very important.”
In the end, the labor and sweat, is rewarded when they realize just what they’ve done.
“I know someone’s going to be moving into this house. So everything I’m doing while I’m doing it I’m thinking this could be a child’s bedroom or this could be a master bedroom for a couple,” says Puckett.
Evan Barnett is a Parkview High School Junior. He tells KOLR10,”This kind of means something it’s kind of doing something that will help impact society and impact someone’s life.”
And as far as having a productive vacation, there is no question students like Barnett have nailed it. “I can go home and still do whatever I want. It’s just a couple hours out of the day I can help someone, help someone’s life, it’s a fun experience.”
Jentzsch says the Explore Summer Program runs through June 14.