Making A Difference

Before you read this let’s make sure we understand who the real hero’s are ,not us, but this principle and these kids, and also we need to realize what a difference can be made when these kids are given a little help and some one has faith in them .

    Sometime back , Joe the principle of the school, contacted us about allowing the kids to watch the show, he had taken the time and paid to subscribe to our show, and he said they want to see if they could get funding to purchase our DVD’s,  the school is in Sacramento Calif , so we figured “Ole Arnold’ couldn’t swing the price all things considered, so we just sent all the DVD’s for the kids, as well as the show, so the kids started responding, go figure,  and a couple got on the show forum with some questions, and good questions , so we decided it would be nice to send them something personal , so with help from Woodcraft we got them all shop aprons, and I signed them to each of the students, well the kids got the aprons,  and here is the email we got from “Joe the principal”, again none of this would have happened had this principal not cared and was willing to think a little out of the box and do something to help these kids, so again I say, he is the hero here and these kids are outstanding,,, how many kids would wash cars to buy what they need for the school, but they are, I salute Joe and his kids,, they are now our kids as well,,,

the email:

“We received your packages today and the ACE students are so excited about your gift that they are wearing them to all their classes.  I am going to try and get permission to send you a photo of the ACE students in their new aprons, California law is very restrictive when it comes to releasing student images but I may have some luck getting parent permission.  Your impact on our program has been amazing.  I visit the classroom and the students are engaged and they follow CN’s procedures like they are written in stone.  The videos and website have become the primary reference for the program.  In a few short weeks I have seen our students begin to develop planning and organizing skills we have never approached before and when I asked the students what the difference is they tell me that there is a difference between building and “Fix-in” to build.   They are taking on projects that they would have never attempted four weeks ago.  One team is working on a large sign for a local business, another is building coat racks for elementary school classrooms and is redesigning the project based on what they learned from one of your DVDs, still another is planning a corner cabinet for one of our teachers that will hold a fireplace insert and television, again the project is being planned following the example of one of Charles’ builds.  Last weekend they held a car wash in our parking lot to raise money to buy a digital camera so that they can send pictures to Charles.  They have car washes planned for the next 3 weeks because they want to purchase spray equipment for finishing their projects.  They don’t know it yet but I have purchased a couple of new routers and our local Lowes has donated a router table for the program.   The students have bought into the program and are willing to do whatever it takes to move it forward.  I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the progress both the students and the program have made and how thankful we all are for everything you have done for us.   ”

Joe the principal

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10 Responses to Making A Difference

  1. Ben says:

    Pretty cool. That’s the kind of educator/experience that is going to change kid’s lives. Way to go to all involved!

  2. Charles, Joe the Principal, and students who have followed through. Nice work!

    I remember when you were wondering “where are all the young people?” Looks like you are finding each other? Yesterday I decided that since one of the kids I see can’t get his dad ( who is an out of work carpenter) to show him how to build a small project that for our next session I will show him how to use hand tools, with a little counseling thrown in,,,lol.

    These skills empower kids to feel they can do something vs, feeling bad. It also motivates math, and planing, as well as perceptual skills.

    Oh yeah, patience for making mistakes?

    When I meet a college student, who is doing a social science program to “help people” I say “Get a degree that will allow you to pay off your student loans.” And “you can help somebody right now.” Charles and Pincipal Joe,,,you are doing just that!


  3. Bob Miller says:

    Very Nice Charles!! Awesome!! That’s exactly what our schools need, more shop type classes that have most all been cut due to budget. This one example shows what a difference it makes!! It would be very cool to see some photo’s if that works out for them!


  4. MIKE WILSON says:

    Makes it all worth it, huh. The elimination of shop from schools was and still is a bad mistake. It’s a problem with our whole country, we don’t teach anybody how to actually build anything. All we have done is turn out people for middle management jobs or IT, none of which is needed now. You want to grow an economy? Then make something you can sell and export, you need folks to do that and that means jobs. Good job Neil.

  5. don says:

    That really makes one feel good about the future of our country, got goosebumps reading what the principal wrote. And you are right, the Real heroes are the little everyday people (in supposed stature) who always seem do do the right thing; the same kids who volunteer for the military. Not the phoney sports and other celebs who make the millions and want only to see themselves and their names in the limelight.


  6. don says:

    Just a thought – I wonder if anyone has ever done a graph showing the relationship between the demise of physical activity (shop, phs. ed., etc.) in school and the “dramatic” rise of ADD…

  7. Denis Rezendes says:

    that’s great! i think its great not only that kids are being introduced to craft skills but that there are people out there who support it and are willing to think out of the box for the better of everyone!

  8. docnewt says:

    This is a great idea but why don’t we all get involved and do the same in our commmunities? I have a friend with severe handicap that teaches scrolling at the local highschool. Our local school just built new school and shop with all new Sawstops it helps that the vice-principal is master woodworker. Lets get involved.

  9. Jay Highland says:

    Charles, you have carved out quite a spot in heaven! Thanks to you, Woodcraft and Joe for the foresight and commitment. What an outcome, and especially in these times of downward spiral. Doc, I think you hit it on the head, we all could go somewhere with this locally.

    • Jay, I hope that “we all” do just what you are saying. Even one person at a time? Not only can we teach skills, we can do kind acts. There are many older folks who need assistance as well. When a client comes in to my office and has time on their hands, I suggest helping to winterize senior homes. Animals have been severely neglected or abandoned in these hard financial times. I’ve built shelter for ferral cats. If you have someone in your shop to show them skills it can be a liability issue. Another reason why I am teaching that kid I spoke of how to use hand tools. 🙂

      Charles, if I remember correctly, has a large garden, and he grows and gives away, the extra produce.

      For me I’ve finally figured out, my actions are louder than my words. And I talk a lot. LOL.


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