Fourth and fifth grade iLEAD students at Santa Clarita Valley International School (SCVi) are turning a classroom project into a community donation with the construction of a tiny house.
The “Tiny House Hunters Project” began last summer as a way to teach the students curriculum standards in a new, interactive way, according to SCVi facilitator (teacher) Tina Toval.
“When we threw the idea of building a tiny home at the kids as a possibility they were so excited and we knew we wanted to do it,” Toval said. “They each designed their own tiny homes. We gave them dimensions it had to be and within those constraints they could design them whatever way they like.”
Now, with the help of tiny house designer and local philanthropist Elvis Summers, the students are turning their blueprint plans and scaled models into a reality as they construct a tiny home to donate to a homeless veteran in need.
“We want it to go to a veteran who truly does need a home and doesn’t need any other resources to rely on,” Toval said.
However, to construct the tiny home the students need help and donations from community members to purchase hardware, tools, supplies and furniture and to physically build the home’s structure.
The students will work together to design the home as they use funds to add walls, a roof and necessary components to the tiny home.
“It will depend on our resources and how many funds we get,” she said. “We are starting basic with a place for someone to sleep and be in. Depending on how much we get, it would be awesome to include at least a bathroom.”
The group hopes they can complete the project and present it to a veteran by the end of summer.
Through the project, Toval hopes her students understand the importance of giving back and working hard to contribute to their community.
“After all the discussion and planning, this is truly happening and it is such a magical moment and is truly life changing… I hope they walk away with an experience of a lifetime,” she said. “As a teacher, taking learning outside of the classroom, making the learning-hands on and allowing it to touch someone is really important.”
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