Josh Suwala, left and Brandon Cannon, students in the carpentry program at Kent County High School, lay new flooring in a camper trailer as part of a project assisting a local organization combating homelessness.
WORTON — Kent County High School teacher Richard Shaw and his students have completed some impressive wood-working projects over the years and their latest effort will help a community member in need.
Shaw teaches carpentry in the high school's Career and Technology Education (CTE) program.
He also is a coach. And it is through his coaching that he was approached with an opportunity for his students to help someone in the community.
Shaw coaches the cross country and track teams with the Rev. Henry Sabetti, rector of historic Shrewsbury Episcopal Parish in Kennedyville.
Earlier this year, Sabetti came to Shaw with an idea for his students.
Sabetti is part of a local organization helping the homeless. Using funds from an anonymous donor, the group was able to purchase an old camper trailer that could be converted to transitional housing for someone in need.
"We then figured out the trailer was going to need some work," Sabetti said. "So I contacted Richard Shaw and I said, 'If we can pay for the materials, do you think this is a project your carpentry class would like to take on?'"
Shaw and his students were enthusiastic about the project. Once the trailer was delivered to the high school, they got to work redoing the flooring, wood trim and other carpentry work in the trailer.
"I am very happy and pleased to have Rev. Sabetti approach me and my carpentry program to work on this project," Shaw said. "I think it's great that our work is helping a community member in need and our students are honing their skills along the way."
A visit to the trailer late last month at the high school saw students working together, fitting new floorboards after having to replace some of the subflooring. They also worked in the kitchen area, checking drawers and cabinets.
Plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems work will be handled by a local contractor.
"It's a nice community-school partnership," Sabetti said.
Once the work is complete, the trailer will be moved to private property for its new occupant.
Sabetti said that through their coaching over the years, he and Shaw have formed a good friendship.
"He's just a great teacher over there at the high school," Sabetti said of Shaw.
Sabetti sees the trailer project as a positive hands-on experience for students while providing housing for someone who needs it.
"It's a win-win for everybody," he said.
Teacher Richard Shaw goes over the day's work plans Thursday, Sept. 23 with student Semaj Pleasant on a camper trailer his carpentry students are helping repair. The trailer will be used for transitional homeless housing.
Kent County High School senior Semaj Pleasant works on the kitchen cabinetry of a camper trailer that will be used by a local support organization for transitional housing to assist a community member in need.