GMR Building Trades provides some holiday cheer


This semester, the Greenbush-Middle River “Building Trades” class— made up of all seniors— has worked on large projects, such as deer stands. But for two weeks, from late November to early December, this class took on a different type of project— one smaller in physical size, but larger in quantity and community impact and one having more of a holiday and winter feel.

The project? Snowman kits to give away at Santa Days at the Greenbush Community Center on December 7.

This past fall, Jenn Kern from the Greenbush Women of Today approached Greenbush-Middle River Industrial Arts teacher Jim Mack about this project. Mack agreed to have his class do this project— one he saw as a positive way to give back to the community. If time allows, Mack said he always tries to fit in projects that benefit the Greenbush and Middle River communities and the youth within the district.

“This project fit both of those areas, so I brought the project idea to my senior students and they took it from there,” Mack said via email.

Over the two weeks, the students did much tracing, cutting, sanding, drilling, and gluing to put together 150 snowman kits. These kits, made of wooden parts, included: one hat, one flower, two eyes, a bowtie, a long tie, a nose and three buttons, each including sticks on the end to place into the snowman or snowwoman.

While making these 150 kits, Mack watched his senior students put in much effort and develop some “pretty good” skills. One of those senior students, Jacob Bergsnev mentioned what he learned from this project.

“The little things are very time consuming,” Bergsnev said.

Asked what was time-consuming, he pointed to the sanding process, ensuring the parts looked “good.”

This project was different than the projects they usually take on.

“ This is a little bit smaller, a lot smaller, (but) a lot bigger number of stuff,” Bergsnev said. “… This is more like mass production.”

Speaking of mass amounts, the Greenbush Women of Today gave way 107 of the kits. The group gave away one kit per family and 99 families came to the event. They didn’t have enough to give away one kit per child, as, according to Jenn Kern, over 150 children attended Santa Days.

They also gave an additional eight kits to those who volunteered at Santa Day. The remaining kits will be donated as gift baskets for different community events, such as the Fireman’s Smoker and area benefits for individuals who are sick.

Individuals didn’t paint their kit parts at the Santa Days event, but were provided a poster with their kit bag that provided steps for painting them at home. The Greenbush Community Partners (GCP) has a post on its Facebook page asking people to post photos of their kits once they are painted.

Kern expressed her appreciation to all those who helped to make this snowman kit project and Santa Days possible.

“The Greenbush Women of Today are so blessed to live in a community that cares and shows that love every day through donations of time and resources,” Kern said.

This holiday season, this GMR class chose to give back to its community members by providing them with little pieces of joy, ones they have the chance to enjoy for many wintery seasons ahead.

To see the complete story, read the December 11 issue of The Tribune in print or online.

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