Students Get Real-World Experience, Help Community

Kenmare, ND - Students at a local high school are getting out of the classroom and into the real world to help provide housing for people in need.

Jim Olson was in Kenmare this week to learn about the project that brings education and community service together.

In the shop at Kenmare High School, students learn the skills needed for work in ag and construction trades.

But over the next couple of months, they'll be taking what they learn here and putting it into practice here.

(Ron Jensen, Kenmare Housing Authority) "I'd like to see these cabintes gone and replaced with new."

This is the kitchen in one of the Kenmare Housing Authority's 46 low-cost units. It needs a lot of work - as do the other rooms in this apartment.

(Ron Jensen, Kenmare Housing Authority) "Here's the bathroom that's going to need some definite attention."

The students getting a first look at this project are from the Ag Education class at Kenmare High School. And they're seeing a big job ahead.

(Dakota Petersen, Kenmare Senior) "Flooring and painting and all sorts of stuff."

Dakota Petersen says he's looking forward to the chance to get experience - and help the community.

(Dakota Petersen, Kenmare Senior) "I think if we all work together as a team, it's definitely achievable."
(Colter France, Kenmare Senior) "I think it's pretty exciting. School's like watching paint dry. It's kind of cool to come out to somewhere like this and get to learn a bit about construction."

The students and their instructor understand how valuable it is to get outside a classroom setting in learning something like this.

(Ben Curdy, Ag Education Instructor) "In the lab environment you get a sense of it but to do it in the real world you get to see why it's applicable, why certain things are important, and it's going to make a lot more sense in the long term."
(Ron Jensen, Kenmare Housing Authority) "We've got people in place to hel you guys with it - if Mr. Curdy needs assistance there's people in the community that said they'd help."

Ron Jensen of the Housing Authority says it's great to get the students involved in helping others.

(Ron Jensen, Kenmare Housing Authority) "I know most of these guys and I think they all have a better handle on carpentry than I do - I've looked at their projects and yeah, this is something they can do."
(Dakota Petersen, Kenmare Senior) "We'll let 'er buck and see how it goes."

They're hoping to have the place looking like new by Christmas. Jim Olson, KX News.

The Kenmare Housing Authority is hoping for donations from the community to help with the current work - and its ongoing mission of providing low-cost housing to people who need it.


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