JVS car­pen­try stu­dents build GaGa Pit

The play­ground at Nord Mid­dle School in Amherst has a new ad­di­tion, thanks to the se­nior car­pen­try class.

The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH) - - FRONT PAGE -

The play­ground at Nord Mid­dle School in Amherst has a new ad­di­tion, thanks to the se­nior car­pen­try class at Lorain County JVS. A “gaga” ball pit was of­fi­cially opened on Oct. 26.

Jen­nifer Denn, Nord Mid­dle School PTO’s trea­surer, reached out to the JVS to have this ball pit built and wanted to pub­licly thank the car­pen­try stu­dents for their hard work.

“The JVS car­pen­try stu­dents have been great, es­pe­cially with our mid­dle school stu­dents, who as­sisted with the build­ing of this ball pit, and our kids and staff are so ex­cited, we just can’t thank them enough,” said Denn.

Aaron Kukucka, car­pen­try se­nior from Amherst, ex­plained how the ball pit project came to­gether.

“First we built all the walls sep­a­rately and then as­sem­bled the pit in our car­pen­try lab at JVS. We brought it out here to the school’s play­ground, put it to­gether, laid gravel down in it and then fi­nally put down the turf,” he said.

The project was en­joy­able for Kukucka, but he mostly en­joyed be­ing able to work one-on-one with a few of the mid­dle school stu­dents.

“They were pretty cool to work with and it was cute hav­ing them use the tools and work along­side us. I think they re­ally had fun,” Kukucka said.

Ac­cord­ing to Denn, third-graders, who spent two of the “comet cash”

“The car­pen­try stu­dents have been so great with our stu­dents. They have been great role mod­els for them, and they even gave up their lunch breaks to play kick­ball with them.”

—North Mid­dle School PTO Pres­i­dent Sarah Yoder

be­hav­ior re­wards, were en­tered into a raf­fle to win a chance to help build the pit with the car­pen­try se­niors. Those stu­dents whose names were drawn, wore hard­hats, safety glasses and grabbed ham­mers to work along­side the se­nior stu­dents.

Nord Mid­dle School PTO Pres­i­dent Sarah Yoder is a strong sup­porter of the JVS and was ex­cited to part­ner with them for this project.

“The car­pen­try stu­dents have been so great with our stu­dents. They have been great role mod­els for them, and they even gave up their lunch breaks to play kick­ball with them,” Yoder said.

Yoder feels that hav­ing the younger stu­dents work to­gether with the JVS stu­dents, is also a way for them to see a lit­tle bit of what the JVS is about.

“With our stu­dents hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to get the hands-on learn­ing di­rectly with the JVS stu­dents, it helped them get an un­der­stand­ing of what that type of learn­ing is all about,” Yoder said.

The event con­cluded with the car­pen­try se­niors, the mid­dle school stu­dents and even some of the ad­min­is­tra­tion play­ing a game of gaga ball.

Gaga ball, is a friend­lier ver­sion of dodge ball and is gain­ing in pop­u­lar­ity due to its in­clu­sive na­ture. All chil­dren, re­gard­less of their ath­letic skill level, have the abil­ity to play the game and win. The game is played in­side a fenced hexagon pit, which is the struc­ture the car­pen­try stu­dents built.

SUB­MIT­TED

John Owen in the pit.

SUB­MIT­TED

The group poses in the pit

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