What used to be a cabin for Pendleton Outdoor School is now 14 new dog houses for local pets, thanks to students at Sunridge Middle School.
Ken Jacobs, who teaches technical education, recently had his eighth grade shop class build the dog houses using wood and other materials salvaged from the old cabin at Buck Creek Camp in the Umatilla National Forest, which was torn down over the summer.
The students donated 12 dog houses to the Pendleton Animal Welfare Shelter, and the other two will be sold to provide money for classroom materials.
“I try to teach the kids that we can use this program not only to build for ourselves, but to give back to the community,” Jacobs said.
In past years, Jacobs’ classes have also built new picnic tables for outdoor school, as well as looms for Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, which were used earlier this year during a Navajo rug weaving workshop.
It took just less than three weeks to build the dog houses, Jacobs said, with about 50 students divided into groups of four.
“They were glad to do it,” he said. “I’m pretty proud of my kids.”
The ultimate goal, Jacobs said, is to teach kids how to use tools, read plans and gain skills they can use for the rest of their lives.
“It’s just the confidence knowing they can use these skills and take care of themselves,” Jacobs said.
Contact George Plaven at email@example.com or 541-966-0825.