Fullerton middle schoolers learn skills, help others by building tiny house for family in need

Jessica De Nova Image
Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Fullerton middle schoolers building tiny house for family in need
Once the tiny home is finished, a family in need will be able to call it home -- all thanks to the handiwork of local middle school students.

FULLERTON, Calif. (KABC) -- With every swing of the hammer, these Nicolas Junior High School students get one-step closer to helping a family in their community.

Eighth grader Edwin Ramirez said he was most excited about the cause.

"Makes me most excited that this house is going to go to somebody who needs it," he said.

Jeremy Davis, the Fullerton School District's assistant superintendent for innovation and instructional support, said it started with a request from their superintendent for ideas that would allow students to see potential careers that would make the world better.

"This is one of the ideas...what if we had the kids build a tiny home, and what if we had kids document it, and what if maybe somebody could live in that tiny home, one of our old families," Davis said.

Davis said according to state standards, about 1% -- that's 115 students at this district -- currently experience homelessness. When this 192-square-foot house is complete with a bathroom and kitchen, one qualifying family of three, maybe four, gets to call it their home.

School staff see this tiny house project as a way for woodshop students to learn skilled trades.

"I'm learning how to measure better and how to put walls up and work on roofs," Ramirez said.

The group was following a set of Ana White plans, but their teacher, Mucio Vidales, said under the supervision and guidance of professionals, their input was welcome.

"They come up with ideas that are better than my ideas. I'm like, all right. We stop. We're gonna be working with this new idea coming up and then implementing those ideas, so they get to see their visions come true with some of these projects," Vidales said.

Yearbook and ASB students like Kalena Castillo, get to test their skills documenting the progress all while helping their community.

"There's a lot of families, I think, that need something like this, that need like a fresh start, a better opportunity," Castillo said.

Davis said completion of the tiny home was expected in May. Until then, the foundation funding the project is accepting donations. For more information, visit www.fullertonsd.org

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