Students are paying it forward and building it forward with a tiny house project, as vocational classes are building tiny houses as a way of gaining confidence in new skills and providing homes for people in their community,

Teens are busy turning a trailer bed into a home.  The project is called “Building It Forward”, and vocational classes are building tiny houses.  Once coal jobs were plentiful in Eastern Kentucky.

Now, teens are learning new skills while their education may well enable them to rebuild the economy.

Three years ago, the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) won a $30 million federal grant funding personalized education in classrooms and innovative educational practices throughout the region.

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“One of the groups that may not have benefited right away was the vocational school students,” KVEC Associate Director Dessie Bowling explained.

The tiny house project is the way to remedy that situation, and ensure that the schools offer classes that have value to students, whether or not they will attend college.

The project gives students a wide variety of skills, including wiring, carpentry, plumbing, heating and cooling, and the cooperative funded three vocational schools to design and build the tiny homes.

Each school received $15,000, which was combined with community donations of materials. When the houses were put up for online auction, each sold at a profit.  The program is financially self sustaining, and the money from sales covers the costs of what is necessary to “build it forward” next year.

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