A LABOR OF LOVE
Jean Sullivian, December 09, 2008
The lesson plans for the Basic Carpentry Class of the Adult Education Division at Ocean County Vocational Technical School called for students to build a structure which would require the use of various building materials, numerous hand and power tools, and require the mastery of basic construction techniques. “Usually the class builds a small shed/playhouse and at the end of the semester, the structure is dismantled,” commented OCVTS Adult Education Principal Bernice Dowd.
This year instructor Erik Rodberg decided to build something different. Since September his Adult Evening School the class has been working feverishly on a playhouse, approximately 9’ x 10’, with a small front porch and a cupola on top. As the structure took shape, Mr. Rodberg realized that it would be a shame to destroy it when class was over. He contacted Ms. Dowd and asked if it would be possible to donate the playhouse to a charity such as the Ronald McDonald House.. Having had some prior involvement with this charitythe Ronald McDonald House Charities in Long Branch, New Jersey, Ms. Dowd immediately made some phone calls.thought she had the answer. “When we contacted the Ronald Mc Donald house, they were ecstatic. They were so appreciative and so excited about a playhouse that would benefit so many children,” she said.
With a renewed sense of purpose, the students and Mr. Rodberg have gone above and beyond the initial basic plans and are putting the finishing touches on this spectacular project. “We are so excited that it is going to be donated to such a good cause,” commented Mr. Rodberg.
The class has been invited to tour the facilities in Long Branch, and the playhouse will be delivered to the Ronald McDonald House as soon as it is complete.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities provideprovides temporary housing for families of seriously ill children who have had to travel to receive medical treatment. TheyIt offer families a way to stay together, in proximity to the treatment hospital, and be comfortable and cared for during their stay. The first Ronald McDonald House opened in 1974. In 2010, theThe Ronald McDonald House Charities planplans to open theirits 300th house.
Under the direction of Instructor Erik Rodberg, second from right, students complete construction of the playhouse which will be donated to the Ronald McDonald Charities.