Construction Academies students at Lake County Schools are already moving dirt on this year’s projects. Academies with Leesburg High School and South Lake High School have broken ground on home builds with Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter, and Eustis High School’s takes place today. Lacie Himes, Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter development director, said the partnership with schools’ academies allows students to learn skills they will need for a future construction career and gives them the opportunity to help a family in need. “One of my favorite things about the program partnership is the service that the kids give,” Himes said. “The acts of service that they do in their week-to-week of school where they come out to participate with us on-site is a really great thing. It gives them a lot of experience in the construction field and a chance to meet and work with different people every time they come out to help.”
Himes said the kids of the construction academy also will learn valuable character building skills such as respect and how they should treat others in a busy, public working environment.
Fourteen students with the academy at Leesburg High School dug their shovels into the ground for the first time last month at the home site.
“When the kids think about construction and the idea of doing it, I want them to understand hands-on experience can’t be taught, but only learned through continuous repetition,” said Bryan Russ, instructor of the Leesburg Construction Academy. ”I can give them knowledge in the classroom about what it is, but it only makes a real sense when the students are actually on site doing it.”