Custodian Uniquely Contributes to School Art Project

March 21, 2024

According to radio station WJON, a custodian at Riverside Intermediate School in Sartell, Minnesota, has turned one of his hobbies into an art collaboration with its students.

Riverside custodian Jody Schave has a wood shop at his home and had been looking for a way to use some scrape wood. Erin Huot, a third-grade teacher at the school, was searching for an art project for her students.

Schave came up with the idea to make birdhouses out of the spare wood and donate them to the class for the students to paint. Within a couple of weekends, he had completed 292 birdhouses.

“This is the first I’ve done something like this,” Schave told WJON. “I’ve sketched pictures on their whiteboard and stuff like that [in the classrooms], but this is the first time I did a project like this.”

According to Huot, the kids were excited about working on the project and liked that they could take the finished birdhouse home. “I think they like the idea of this keepsake, something unique and special, something that’s theirs they can have home [and] share with their family,” Huot told WJON. “And what a great way just to connect students to staff members in our building, our community, and making that connection between one person’s hobby, this love for woodworking.”

Huot said she hopes to collaborate with Schave again on future art projects.

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