Habitat partnering with schools

Published 11:25 am Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity is in the process of partnering with Charlotte County Public Schools through the 21st Century K-12 program, which will provide after-school and weekend activities for the students at Eureka Elementary and Central Middle schools.

“Pending grant approval, this would be a dynamic partnership between Farmville Area Habitat for Humanity and two elementary schools within Charlotte County,” said Eureka Elementary School Administrative Instructional Coordinator Lawrence Randolph. “If Eureka Elementary and Bacon District Elementary Schools were to receive the 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant, our partnership would start during the 2017-18 school year.”

Randolph said the partnership would teach elementary students marketing, advertisement, commercial skills and social media integration at an early age in an effort to prepare them for a competitive 21st century job market.

“Habitat will be hosting a Habitat Day one weekend a month where we will partner with educators on a STEM (science, technology, education and math) curriculum and community outreach and development initiatives to educate the children on how they can be an active part of their community,” said Alanna Rivera, the Habitat office manager and volunteer coordinator, “and have an early education in giving of themselves, as well as the importance of a community family.”

Rivera said the activities will be meant to show students empathy, emphasizing the importance of supporting each other and the community from an early age.

She said Habitat was taking those lessons and looking into ways to apply them to the division’s STEM curriculum.

“So, (we’ll be) having them build some houses we’ll be working on, like little miniature Habitat houses, so they can learn how all of those things come together and the importance of structure — not just in a home that we’re actually physically building, but in (their) life as well,” Rivera said. “(We’re) … showing them some life application from an early age so they grow up with an understanding of who we are and why we do what we do.”

Rivera said she felt the program was helping out with the organization’s outreach in Charlotte County.

“The more people that are involved the more we’re able to do there. And, you know, right now we’re just working on a rehab home and I know there’s more need. We’ve had people continuously, even after the deadline closed for that home, continue to send us in applications or just letters telling us about their different situations,” Rivera said.

She said though Habitat knows there’s a need in the county, sometimes it’s a matter of getting the funding to be able to do more work, as well as volunteership.

Currently there is one Habitat project being carried out in Charlotte.

For more information on Habitat’s efforts, call (434) 394-3001.