Home-school students build tiny home for veterans group
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]
The Southern Indiana Veteran Living and Rehabilitation Facility, located off S.R. 66 at Carefree in Crawford County, will receive a new tiny home to add to the community soon. The new addition will be unique, however, as it was made by students.
Home-school students who are a part of the Heritage Family Educators cooperative group in Corydon have worked all school year to construct a tiny home to be donated to the veterans’ tiny home community, which sits on a 13.5-acre property.
Heritage Family Educators is a Christian-based home-school co-op located at Corydon Baptist Church. It offers educational classes one day a week to the students of registered families. Parents of the students share the teaching and administrative responsibilities. Classes are offered to kids ranging from newborn age to seniors in high school.
The group meets on Mondays, starting in August through early December and again January through most of May, with scheduled breaks each semester. It has four periods a school day that each last an hour and offers an hour lunch and a recess each day.
Rocky Gray, the teacher of the tiny home construction class, explained that the idea for this project as a class came from the interest he noticed in the students for a more hands-on style of class. He previously taught a survival course and an automotive repair class and said the kids really responded well to learning these life skills.
“We started talking about the next year’s course offerings and thought of possibly building a garden shed,” Gray said. “But then, we realized it would be such a great idea to give back to the community, and the veterans’ community felt like the perfect place to do that.”
Gray noted that the class piqued the students’ interests so much that they had to add a second period of it to accommodate all the kids who wanted to participate.
Conner Witten, a 16-year-old student in the class, said that it has been fun to learn skills he may not have been able to learn otherwise.
Gray said Witten has been able to take the lead on a lot of the electrical wiring in the house.
“I had done some wiring with my dad at our house before this class, but I have learned a lot more about it during this project,” Witten said. “This class has been so fun for me, and it probably is my favorite I have been a part of here.”
The tiny house will have enough space inside for a small bathroom, living area, kitchen, a sleeping loft and a storage area.
Gray said the class was extremely appreciative of Chris Camenisch, owner of Weather Stop, a restoration company, for donating spray foam to line the inside of the home.
The foam will help with insulation for the home and decrease the amount of humidity inside.
Gray said the students have worked extremely hard on the project and hope to have it finished in the coming weeks in order to donate it to the veterans’ community by June.
“I love having the different style of class offerings like our tiny home one,” said Keileigh McWhorter, a 17-year-old senior in the class. “You don’t really see a lot of classes like this at traditional public schools, and it makes me really appreciative to our group for having classes like this.”