Students learn life lessons through construction -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Students learn life lessons through construction

Perry Wilson Perry Wilson

August 25, 2003

Valdosta - It's not your typical classroom setting, the usual pencil and paper has been replaced with hammers, nails, and drills. "We put up the walls, roof, and had to use long and short nails, a hammer, and a drill," said Meghan Watt.

This lesson is part of the "If I had a Hammer" project. It's hands-on approach to learning founded by Perry Wilson. "I had a learning disability growing up and couldn't pass my math tests, but when I grew up to be a carpenter, many of the things I couldn't understand became obvious," said Wilson.

It's teaching these Parker Mathis Elementary fifth graders important life skills. "When you stop taking your subjects and start understanding how they're going to apply to the real world, it makes a huge difference," said Wilson.

They started with a square foundation and hollow walls, and ended with an 88-square foot playhouse. "I've learned that it takes teamwork to do something like this, and I have to work with others to build this house," said Cole Wilson.

The students leave with a higher self esteem and a new excitement for learning, proving that a lesson in construction goes a long way for 25 fifth graders.

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