Students Learn More Than Woodworking From Alvarez



The Optimist Club has been doing a makeover of two rooms in Child Protective Services (CPS) offices. As a part of this project we needed furniture, including two bookshelves, three benches that also serve as toy chests and two television stands. After asking some very busy construction people, a high school parent suggested the woodworking class teacher.

One call was all it took. We met the teacher, Richard Alvarez, that afternoon during his prep period. We spent half an hour with him while he made drawings, gathered information and made suggestions.

During this time, quite a few young students came into an adjacent area. They either talked quietly in small groups or worked on some project. Not once did their teacher have to look over at them or say anything. The teenagers of various ages appeared to use self-control out of respect for what their teacher expected of them.

Over the next six weeks my husband and I were in and out of this classroom to see the progress, bring cookies and take pictures. What a pleasure to interact with their creative teacher and his polite and charming students. At one point we presented a problem of not being able to use wall brackets for the TVs.

"No problem," Richard said. TV stands were promptly designed and made. I believe that these students have observed and learned a lot more than woodworking from Mr. Alvarez, and his classroom is a place where many students can find success and learn a life-skill.

The Optimist club, Child Protective Services and especially my husband and I wish to thank Mr. Alvarez and his students, who made the furniture. We not only thank them for their labor contribution, but for allowing us to interact with their class.

It has been a real pleasure to have the high school a part of the Optimist Club's community effort to help Child Protective Services. Because the Optimist Club mainly focuses their efforts for and with youth, we recognize these students contributions now as they complete their part. When the makeover is complete, all of the businesses and individuals that have helped will be thanked publicly and receive pictures of the finished rooms.

The Optimist Club invites anyone who is interested in belonging to an organization that does a variety of activities and has fun doing it. Call (928) 472-2264.

Joan Young


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