Home Trust Outreach Ornaments and 11th Grade Community Projects

Posted May 14, 2019 at 5:50 am by

L-R: Derek Smith, FHHS STEM Director; David Gow, Home Trust Executive Director; Justin Ha and Matthew Vogel, FHHS Students; and Charlene Caren, Home Trust - SJ Update photo

San Juan Com­mu­ni­ty Home Trust mem­ber Char­lene (Chary) Caren was brain­storm­ing what to do for this year’s home trust out­reach when she hit upon the idea of lit­tle wood­en orna­ments in the shapes of their hous­es — 12 dif­fer­ent ones based on real homes in their 3 neigh­bor­hoods: Sun Rise I, Sun Rise II and Salal.

One of the wooden cutout ornaments and a photo of the home it represents

She thought per­haps she would be able to find some­one on the island with a laser cut­ter who would be will­ing to cut out the images — and then some­one sug­gest­ed that high school stu­dents might be will­ing to do so and at the same time earn com­mu­ni­ty ser­vices hours, a req­ui­site for grad­u­a­tion and uni­ver­si­ty scholarships.

After con­tact­ing the high school she was referred to Jen­ny Wil­son who is the coor­di­na­tor for the Grade 11 Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vice Program.

Chary made her pitch to about 30 stu­dents and 2 in par­tic­u­lar seemed inter­est­ed. Justin Ha and Matthew Vogel need­ed a project and this was a good fit. With STEM Direc­tor Derek Smith’s direc­tion, the 2 decid­ed that the CNC Machine at the STEM cen­ter seemed to be the answer — for inex­pen­sive, plen­ti­ful wood cut outs of the houses.

Chary says: “I have an Aus­tri­an friend in Vic­to­ria who makes abstract orna­men­tal cut outs (birds, angels, etc.) and then paints them in a folk art style. I have bought a lot from him to give as gifts for Christ­mas orna­ments, dec­o­ra­tive cur­tain pulls, to hang in win­dows, etc.  I love them because they are hand made and no two are exact­ly alike. I thought that if we could get the house orna­ments made, then per­haps island artists would be will­ing to take a dozen or so and dec­o­rate them.” 

“We will sell them, yes, but in the process we will have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to talk about the need for per­ma­nent­ly afford­able hous­ing, and that only with such hous­ing would we be able to have a sus­tain­able community.”

“Hav­ing high school stu­dents and our schools involved is yet anoth­er out­reach for us — and infor­ma­tive to them — stu­dents, teach­ers, par­ents — giv­ing the oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn more about and become famil­iar with types of hous­ing on our island.”

Chary hopes to have a lot of orna­ments paint­ed and ready for the Coun­ty Fair, where they can offer them by dona­tion… and it will give the part­ner­ship of the High School Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vice Pro­gram, the STEM pro­gram, two stu­dents and the Home Trust an oppor­tu­ni­ty to show­case dif­fer­ent parts of the com­mu­ni­ty work­ing togeth­er = a more inter­est­ing and com­pelling booth.

Then, at the Hol­i­day Mar­ket in Decem­ber, they will have the tiny dec­o­rat­ed wood­en orna­ments giv­ing the Home Trust more expo­sure — gifts which will be appeal­ing, and will also give very deserv­ing cred­it to Fri­day Har­bor High School’s pro­grams of Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vice and STEM.

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Categories: Arts, Education, People, Real Estate

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