Volunteer brings Workshop Kids Program to the Sulllivans School
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE - Megan Lucas, a substitute teacher at the Sullivans School loves to use her free time to get students in Kindergarten and first grade classes hammering and nailing on different projects from the Kids Workshop program.
The Kids Workshop program is a series of free woodworking projects sponsored by Home Depot stores across the USA. The program offers free hands-on workshops designed for children ages 5 – 12. Workshops teach children do-it-yourself skills, tool safety and instill a sense of pride and accomplishment. The students get to keep their craft and receive a free Kids Workshop apron, commemorative pin and certificate of achievement.
Before coming to Yokosuka Naval Base, Lucas built a relationship with her local Home Depot Store in Ashburn, Virginia by attending several of their Kids Workshop programs with her two children, Mollie and Owen.
Lucas stated, “It started as a way to get out of the house on weekends while her husband was deployed, my daughter started the program at 18 months. She now has over 50 pins.”
When she found out she was moving to Yokusuka, Lucas contacted the general manager of the Home Depot, Larry Palatnik, who agreed to supply her with materials while she was stationed overseas. She has been teaching students in small groups ever since.
When I met her, she was teaching 4 students from Mrs. Buffy Bennett’s first grade class to build a planter on the floor in the school cafeteria. Lucas led the children patiently through the process of gently getting the nail started to the finishing touches, “hit it like you mean it!” She helped them line up the sides evenly, pulled bent nails so they could start over, soothed them when they inevitably bruised a thumb, and proudly pinned their bright orange aprons afterwards as they held up their new planters. Victoria Ruth Valencia, one of the students beamed and exclaimed, “It was exciting! I can’t wait to show my planter to mommy and daddy.” Hunter Saik said, “I know it’s for plants, but I am going to put my toys in it.”
Lucas stated, “Kids love the program. They learn safety, following directions and develop good hand-eye coordination. They get a real sense of accomplishment and they are also very proud of themselves after they finish their projects. They also get to be better carpenters! My son, Owen is a big help in teaching this year’s students.”
Megan Lucas is a shining example of the generous can-do spirit volunteers bring to our school. The Sullivans salutes you, Megan! Thank you for all you do.