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Detroit Students Build a House–Then Deliver the Entire Structure For Low Income Housing

in Housing 131 views

It was a surreal sight for Pedro Rivera, a whole house was on the back of a trailer driving down a Detroit suburban road; a house that he and his friends had built with their own hands.

“All my friends, we all looked at each other like, ‘Wow, this is what we did,’” Rivera, a student at Oakland Schools Technical Campus-Northeast, told 7 Action News.

At the technical campus, students study to become specialists in carpentry, additions, or electrical work, but school instructor Aaron Swett who led the project to build a 1,368-square-foot home from the ground up, explained that it would help introduce the students to the whole gamut of construction trades.

The program, which includes working alongside professional tradesmen, prepares the students for their own careers in construction and carpentry, many of which are sorely needed in the US.

But it does something else as well, it provides a slow but steady supply of low and middle-income housing units for Michigan, a state that lacks them.

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Students’ “canstruction” competition aims to reduce food insecurity

in School 360 views

The LEAD Council of the Northern New York Community Foundation is inviting students at tri-county schools and organized student groups in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties to participate in a project to help reduce food insecurity across the north country.

“Canstruction for Northern New York” is a group activity to encourage students to team up and construct a fun, themed structure made of donated canned food and other nonperishable food items or hygiene products to support a local food pantry or backpack program of their choice.

Joining the competition is through an online registration at bit.ly/CanstructionRegistration. Teams must register to participate by March 27 and select the local food pantry or backpack program that will receive team donations.

According to the foundation, participating students will have a chance to support essential needs for local residents while learning values of community philanthropy and building school spirit around a project that will make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. Overall, the project aims to raise awareness about hunger and food insecurity in our communities. The initiative will empower students to collaborate and inspire their school and community to join in the effort.

Examples of canstruction projects may be found on the project web page at bit.ly/CanstructionNNY. Canstruction teams will compete for one of three chances to present a $500 grant to a nonprofit they care about most. A winning team will be named in the following three categories: “Top Collection Award” (most items donated/collected), “Best Design Award,” and “People’s Choice Award” (selected by an online vote).

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Watertown High School teacher helped by students after February fall

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Normally in a school setting, a teacher is helping out students.

But on Feb. 15, after Watertown High School English teacher Allison M. Gilliam took a fall before morning announcements and hit her head on the corner of her desk, students jumped in to help her, spearheaded by 18-year-old senior Elijah B. Kekuewa and another student.

Elijah said he sits next to her desk, and Ms. Gilliam walked into the room and noticed that her television, which shows the clock and rotating messages of what is going on in the school, was already on.

He said her foot caught and she tripped. She fell and hit her face on the corner of the desk.

“I tried to ask her if she was OK and she said that she had a headache, so I went around her desk and I just dialed in the number and called down to the office and asked for help,” Elijah said.

When he called the office, he said that he told the office that Ms. Gilliam had fallen, and the office said they would send a staff member up to help. They then called a code blue.

Ms. Gilliam was surprised when they called a code blue.

“I literally said, ‘I’m not dying, I just need a nurse, just somebody to help me because I think I’m bleeding,'” she said.

He said when he noticed Ms. Gilliam was in distress, he got up and helped.

“I got up like I expect any person to do, and decided to help her,” he said. “It was just kind of like first instinct.”

Elijah said he was able to remain calm because of what he has been forced to deal with in his life.

“My past has a huge reflection on who I am today as a person,” he said. “The past me wouldn’t have reacted like that … truthfully I would’ve been shook.”

He said he was worried about his teacher, to the point where he asked Principal Chad Fairchild if he knew how Ms. Gilliam was doing, because he wanted to visit her if she was still in the hospital.

Another teacher said she had heard from Ms. Gilliam and that she wanted to pass on the word that she was OK and she’d be back in school the next day.

“All I remember telling myself is, ‘Wow, this lady’s a god, a goddess,'” Elijah said.

“I think (Ms. Gilliam) sees the best in me and wants the best for me, and she sees that I’m pushing myself so hard to try to get out of school this year to graduate, that she’s just trying to be my support,” he added.

Elijah said he felt like the interaction brought them closer, although he said he’s always liked Ms. Gilliam because she is energetic.

Ms. Gilliam said she has an orbital fracture of the right eye, and had a concussion. She was taken to the hospital by Assistant Principal Leslie Atkinson, and released that day.

“The fact that these kiddos remained very calm, and poised, and knew exactly what to do and did it without any sort of practice, or anything like that, that they had the presence and the mindset to do what they did, just blew me away,” Ms. Gilliam said. “It made me incredibly grateful, and thankful that I have the students that I have, because it showed me that these kids actually care about me as their teacher, that they were incredibly serious about making sure I got assistance and help.”

Ms. Gilliam said it was a team effort by her first-period class that was spearheaded by Elijah and another student.

One student ran out in the hallway to get help, Elijah called down to the office, another student made sure no one was recording a video or taking pictures, and students were coming up to her asking her if she was OK.

Ms. Gilliam said that if the students weren’t there, she probably would’ve just gotten help for herself.

“There is almost zero chance that that would’ve happened with this group of kids because there were others in here that would have jumped into action had those two not,” she said. “The fact that it was those two, doesn’t shock me because the other student I’m also very close with … I know that there would’ve been other students in the class that would’ve done that.”

She said that if it was an off-period where she doesn’t have students, she would’ve called herself.

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Tri-county school closings

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WATERTOWN — Schools across the north country are beginning to announce they will be closed Friday in anticipation of an intense lake-effect snowstorm that is expected to bury the area with snow.

As of 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the following tri-county schools have announced closings: Alexandria Central School; Bohlen Technical Center; Carthage Central School District; Faith Fellowship Christian School; General Brown School District; Immaculate Heart Central; Indian River Central School District; LaFargeville Central School District; Lyme Central School District; Sackets Harbor Central School District; South Jefferson Central School District; and Watertown City School District.

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Watertown High School graduates ‘the kind of young people you want to be around’

in School 449 views

WATERTOWN — “Resilient,” “thoughtful” and “mature” are some of the words Watertown High School Principal Chad A. Fairchild used to describe this year’s graduating class.

The newest Watertown alumni walked across the stage Friday and received their high school diplomas.

“They’re the kind of young people you enjoy being around,” Mr. Fairchild said. “They make you very proud, they make us very proud, they make their community very proud.”

The Watertown City School District presented diplomas to 168 students. The evening began with a parade that culminated at the high school football field.

Toward the back of the turf, students got out of their vehicles and made their way onto the turf via a red carpet.

Graduate Emma L. Shoemaker said she was “pretty excited” and “mostly nervous,” about graduation.

“I’m not ready to ‘adult’ yet,” she said.

She is looking to become a photographer and will begin selling her photography online and apply to colleges.

Before graduating, Emma spent time in Atlanta for the SkillsUSA Photography challenge, after winning a New York competition. She returned Friday morning.

She became interested in photography after her father bought her first camera in ninth grade, which led to her taking visual communications through the Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

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Jefferson Community College to hold 58th spring commencement Friday

in School 205 views

WATERTOWN — Jefferson Community College will resume in-person commencement exercises and will hold its 58th spring commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday in the McVean Student Center gymnasium. Approximately 329 students are candidates for December 2021, May 2022 and August 2022 graduation with nearly 335 diplomas and certificates to be conferred.

This year, Maj. Gen. Milford H. Beagle Jr., commander of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, will give the keynote address.

Tickets are required for admission to the gymnasium. Each student participating in the ceremony has received up to four tickets for guest seating in the bleachers. Tickets are not required for entrance to the Sturtz Theater where the ceremony will be simulcast. In addition, the commencement exercises will be video-streamed on the college’s website beginning at 6:45 p.m.

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Watertown City School District looking to combat student vaping in restrooms

in Local News/School 393 views

WATERTOWN — During the Watertown City School District’s Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening, Superintendent Patricia B. LaBarr explained to those gathered that there has been a noticeable problem with students vaping in school restrooms. To combat this, the district is tightening things up when it comes to some restroom access.

While mostly relevant to the high school, Mrs. LaBarr said she has been working with administrators at both the high school and middle school, along with school resource officers.

“We have some serious concerns with the amount of vaping that’s been going on at the high school and as a result of that, some of the activities that are happening within the bathrooms,” Mrs. LaBarr said. “Mainly it was a high school conversation, but we want to make sure if anything is going on in the middle school that we address that as well.”

Mrs. LaBarr said students are going to the bathrooms to vape — sometimes up to four students go into one stall and shut the door, leaving other students that need to use the restroom unable to do so.

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North country school districts welcome students back for first day of school

in School 469 views

WATERTOWN — Standing hand in hand with her mother outside of the school she will most likely attend next year, a young girl anxiously waits for her older sister with a bouquet of flowers in hand ready to greet her Tuesday afternoon.

When Aubrey Walker, 4, spotted her older sister Alayna, 6, a first-grader at Starbuck Elementary School, she couldn’t contain her excitement, running down the path to give her a hug and the flowers she had waiting for her. Having been homeschooled as a kindergartener, this was Alayna’s first day away at school, so she was just as excited to see her little sister when the day was over. Clad in a white, sparkly sweater and proudly holding her flower bouquet, she held on to her sister for a bit, smiling all the while.

Their mother, Morgan J. Walker, said Alayna was excited, albeit a little nervous heading into her first day. She noted that she had the same nerves sending her little girl to school, but she was excited that her daughter was able to go and hopes that the year will turn out well.

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