Students are making a difference for their community.
The Furniture and Cabinetry Class and the Manufacturing Class at Little Wolf High School are constructing benches that will be placed in downtown Manawa.
The students are working with Dan Koehler, technical education teacher, to help the Manawa Revitalization Project beautify the city.
“This is a great way for kids to be involved in a community project,” said Manawa Area Chamber of Commerce President Tom Squires. “Beyond that, the kids learn what it means to have a sense of pride in doing something that will benefit the community.”
“I believe this is one of the biggest steps we have taken in regards to bringing unity back into our community,” said Manawa Mayor John Smith. “As I have stated several times, Manawa has a proud history of being community minded. The community has worked in harmony for so many years to keep it strong. Somewhere along the way we lost that.”
“This project may be one of the biggest steps in securing our future,” said Smith. “We want our young people to understand that Manawa has a lot for them to be proud of.”
The mayor had asked the school to help with the project.
“This will help to build bonds between the young adults, and the community,” Smith said. “In 10 years when they walk past these benches with their families they can say, ‘I remember building those.’ What better way to build pride in your community than to be part of the revitalization.”
“Being a tech ed teacher, I have always been an advocate for students learning hands-on skills that they can take with them for the rest of their lives,” said Koehler. “I think it is very important for people to be able to plan and build something using their own two hands.”
Koehler worked closely with students Alec Ferg, Jeremy Marks, Dalton Timm, Craig Hokenstad, Remington Reeck and Levi Fietzer to make 15 benches.
Within a few months the project neared completion.
Pride shows on the faces of each student when they talk about the project.
“Thanks to Dan Koehler and his wisdom and guidance on building, we got the project done,” Hokenstad said.
“It feels great to know that we can help our community like this,” he said. “We worked super hard on this project.”
“It is great helping out your community,” Ferg said.
“It encouraged us to get involved,” said Marks.
“I learned who is all involved in the community,” Timm said. “I saw who really cares about this community and puts a lot of hours into it.”
“This project really taught them the importance of teamwork and communication in manufacturing,” said Koehler. “With multiple students working on the same project, they all had to coordinate plans and procedures to ensure that the end product came together and met specifications.”
“They already knew how to use the equipment,” he said. “And trust me, they really know how to hammer nails!”
“It is important that the community has a good relationship with the school,” Koehler said. “This project was a great way to get the students and school involved with the community.”
Koehler expressed appreciation to those that have been involved with the project.
“Without the people working behind the scenes, none of this would have been possible,” he said.
“Working together to benefit the city we love is just one more example of what is so great about small community living,” Smith said.