Three years ago, the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative won a $30 million federal grant to support innovation and personalized learning in classrooms throughout eastern Kentucky. “One of the groups that may not have benefited right away was the vocational school students,” KVEC Associate Director Dessie Bowling explained. To remedy that, in 2016 the cooperative funded three eastern Kentucky vocational schools to design and build tiny movable homes.
The “Building It Forward” project gives students experience with a wide range of construction skills such as plumbing, wiring, carpentry, design, budgeting, heating and cooling to name a few. Bowling described the tiny house project as a way of making sure that the cooperative’s schools offer classes that are interesting and valuable to students, and provide them with marketable skills whether or not they plan on going to college. The program is designed to be financially self-sustaining. Money from the sales of each house covers the costs of materials it takes to “build it forward” again the next year.
WMMT’s Benny Becker filed this report as part of the Ohio Valley Resource‘s Changing Course series on innovative practices in eastern Kentucky schools. The series is supported by the Solutions Journalism Network.