garfield students

Chicago Heights School District 170's Garfield School recently welcomed staff members from Calumet City's Home Depot to work with first through third-grade students, their parents and their families at the school's second annual "Let's Build Something Together" workshop.

The Garfield School PTO organized the activity in conjunction with Home Depot, and Garfield School's staff and the parents of students.

The event was one aspect of the school's attempt at bringing local businesses into the school.

"We believe that these types of events can go far in creating a bond between our students, their parents, all of our school community, and local business entities," said Maricela Ruiz, Garfield's Principal.

The event was similar to the monthly Kid's Workshop hosted by the Home Depot, in which parents and their children together build specific projects from kits provided.

According to The Home Depot's Lisa K. Landich the company actively pursues ways in which they can give back to the community.

"Our Kids Workshop is one of the many ways in which we can give back," she said. "Kids Workshops for children ages 5 - 12 take place on the first Saturday of every month from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Children participating in the workshops decorate a kit and receive a Home Depot apron and a pin to wear on their apron to show that they have completed the project".

The affair at Garfield School proved hugely successful with more than 50 families participating in a variety of activities that saw parents spend quality time interacting with their children.

Caleb Valentin, a 1st Grade Bilingual teacher at the school, was instrumental in facilitating the event.

Valentin, who had worked at Home Depot for several years, approached store management and discussed with them the possibility of visiting Garfield school to co-host a "Kid's Workshop."

"Everyone that I spoke with at Home Depot was highly receptive to the idea," Valentin said.

"The Home Depot Corporation has a long history of involvement in the community and works with schools to host community field trips and other activities," Valentin added.

"We hope that their alliance with Garfield School will continue for years to come."

Superintendent Tom Amadio was pleased by the success of the event and the collaboration of a district school with a corporate partner.

"I extend my sincere thanks to the Calumet City Home Depot, and to all the staff and the PTO of Garfield School who partnered so well in presenting such a rewarding opportunity for our students and their parents," Amadio said.

"In providing the students, their parents and their families with the chance to work together on so many diverse projects the Home Depot staff members and the Garfield School family presented an extended learning opportunity that engaged everyone involved and strengthened the school-community dynamic," he concluded.