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Carpentry class assists senior citizens

by Alex Feit

Carpentry students have begun volunteering for Newton at Home, a community service outreach program aiming to improve the comfort and independence of senior citizens, according to carpentry teacher Garrett Tingle.

“The idea is for carpentry technology students to travel to a Newton at Home member’s house along with their instructor and to determine her small scale carpentry needs, in the same manner as a professional builder would,” Tingle said.

According to Tingle, students would put together estimates and schedule times to work with the Newton at Home members, functioning similarly to a professional carpentry business.

“This is a real world application. Students are strengthening their entrepreneurial, writing, interpersonal and verbal skills while at the same time fostering their talents in the service of our city’s elders,” he said.

Tingle added that most of the carpentry work will be done by carpentry major students in their second year.

According to Julie Plaut Mahoney, the coordinator of volunteers at Newton at Home, carpentry students will first repair an antique, handmade music stand for a member of the program. Students will work in this school’s carpentry shop.

Later, students will aid in repairing a windowsill in a member’s home, she said.

Founded in January as part of a national “Village” movement, Newton at Home is designed to aid seniors aged 60 or older to live with “peace of mind” by providing “comprehensive practical services at home, as well as social and cultural outings and a focus on health and fitness.”

Other groups at this school are already involved with the program, including the automotive shop and the Connections group, Mahoney said.

In total, Tingle hopes that students will learn to respect and cherish seniors through the community service project.

“It is my hope to see a generation to generation delta forming where stereotypes, myths and misconceptions about seniors break down,” Tingle said.  “I hope that what is left is a new realization by North students of the well of wisdom and harbored history possessed by our City’s elders.”

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