12 vocational schools across the state of West Virginia have students building tiny houses for flood survivors, and the experience of giving back in a practical way is invaluable for them.

Soft SkillsSome survivors of the June 23 flood will be able to have temporary housing thanks to the efforts of the students.  The houses will be presented to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in December.

“This is a phenomenal learning experience for our students in West Virginia, but the bigger learning experience is taking ownership of being a citizen of West Virginia and giving back to your community when you can,” said Kathy D’Antoni, chief officer of career and technical education for the state Department of Education. “It’s not just the nice thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.”

As part of a partnership between the West Virginia Department of Education and the Greater Recovery and Community Empowerment, the houses will solve some of the temporary shelter problem for displaced families.

“It’s quite innovative,” said Sen. John Unger. “I don’t know of other places that do that. FEMA has indicated that that’s very unusual — what West Virginia is doing. We’re really trying to break new ground by doing this.”

The tiny houses will be between 100 and 400 square feet.  Some are portable and unlike FEMA trailers, they all will look different.

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