Kids at the Carlsbad High School in New Mexico are using the trades they’re learning to give back the community. For the past four years, teacher Ken Burke has been having the students in his Building Trades class make dog houses to give to families who can’t afford their own.
“Last year we built more than 30 doghouses,” Burke said to the Current-Argus. “It’s so hard to get kids involved with the community, and so my ultimate goal with this is to teach my students that it doesn’t take much time to give back the community.”
The dog house-building project is part of the SkillsUSA program, which helps thousands of high school students become skilled, responsible workers. The idea came when one of Burke’s students had been given a puppy for Christmas one year. The group decided to make a house for it and a few faculty members’ dogs with leftover materials.
Victoria Morse of C-Paws came to Burke to ask if he would consider building more shelters for the community.
“It always amazes me how many dogs are left outside with no shelter in extreme weather conditions,” she said.
The students receive donations and leftover materials to create houses for dogs of all sizes. C-Paws works with Noah’s Ark Animal Shelter to distribute the shelters to low-income families.
“I just think that it’s good for the community to know what this class is doing,” Morse said. “It teaches the kids that build the dog houses the importance of giving animals shelter, rather than tying the dog to a pole outside without protection from the weather.”