180 Days - Working to Better Their Community

180 Days - Working to Better Their Community

Two classes at Ottumwa High School helped set up for the Better Block initiative last Thursday in downtown Ottumwa.

Students in Woods I and Metals I worked in the old theater building, constructing a counter, painting, cutting lumber, and moving things. According to metals instructor, Brandon Brooks, someone asked if high school vocational classes could make some routered furniture. Our machine was down but we were still able to assist the effort. “It was a community engagement piece more than anything else,” he said. The effort also links to the district's core beliefs--collaboration and teamwork are necessary for success.

“I like it when you see the community coming together to do stuff,” said senior Baylee Rose.

Dawson Knight, another senior, liked the chance to help his community. “It was fun,” he said. “I liked the experience of taking an old building and making it new while keeping it old at the same time.”

Brooks liked the Better Block effort and what it demonstrated to his students. He also sees an opportunity to work with them in the future, if the opportunity presents itself. “They came up with something and made it happen,” he said. “It was a good example for our students.”