Students at Herrington Elementary School were excitedly using hammers and nails to build ships, ornaments and super heroes with district managers from Lowe’s Home Improvement in an effort to build skills and concepts within school curriculum.

Smiles could be seen across the room as 18 community partners from Lowe’s, along with Herrington teachers guided students through the building process of their creations. The project included students from the functional academic classroom (FAC), the preschool program for children with disabilities (PPCD) and students from the Together We Can (TWC) program..

“I thought this would be a small community service project,” said Melissa Blasingame, Herrington FAC teacher. “When I looked back at all the students learned that day, I was amazed. I am honored and humbled with the generosity of materials and spirit from Lowe’s. I will definitely work to incorporate more partnerships like this in the future.”

At first glance, it looked and sounded like the students were just having fun, but there was purposeful learning happening with this partnership. Students learned to sequence as they were building Christmas trees, follow procedural steps while making ships, developing gross motor skills while using tools and developing valuable socialization skills.

The project originated when Anthony Bickley, Lowe’s area loss prevention and operations support manager, reached out to Herrington with a desire to partner with students with special needs to complete a project. He and his team wanted to use one of their annual training days to give back to the community and in return, they got an experience they will never forget, Bickley said.

“We are so excited here at Lowe’s to have the opportunity to give back and be a part of something bigger,” Bickley said. “My team and I had a great time working with the students. The smiles and excitement in the room were heartwarming and we look forward to building more community partnerships like this one.”

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