THUNDER BAY – Students at St. Patrick High School are helping to build a better future for youngsters in need.
The Grade 11/12 high skills major class has spent the better part of the first semester this school year building four playhouses, which when finished will be auctioned off to help the Thunder Bay Children’s Centre Foundation.
Sixteen-year-old Jeremy Pasciullo was one of the builders, a chance to prepare for a possible future career while giving back to the community.
“It’s kind of cool to do it on a smaller scale in the classroom and work toward what I want to do when I’m older,” the teenager said.
“I pretty much learned how to do everything, because I wasn’t too sure how to do stuff – framing to exterior finishing to shingles and roofing – everything in the book.”
The charity component was equally exciting, Pasciullo added.
“I haven’t really done any donating on this scale before, something I’ve built, so it’s really cool that we’re going to donate to someone who can use it. It’s important to me because it’s nice to give back to kids in need and donate money.”
The students got their guidance from teacher Ramon Verardo who said the students had full creative control over their playhouses, which will be auctioned off at the home and trade show in May 2019.
“They got to learn quite a bit here, as far as creativity. They got to create their own design; team-building, working together as a team to create these playhouses,” Verardo said.
“They had to be very creative as far as the budget went, because we had a small budget. We used some re-purposed material to complete these, like pallets, leftover glass, Plexiglass, some paints and shingles, rough lumber, that was all donated and some was given for a relatively low cost.”
Verardo said academically, the students learned math and communications skills along the way.
“It’s essentially a small house, other than the electrical and plumbing that’s not in there, starting from the floor and learning the materials that need to be used on the floor, working their way up the structure and sealing it off so no water or rain, and the interior finishing to make it look nice,” he said.