PANAMA CITY, FLA. (WMBB) — Students in Rutherford High School’s Construction Academy built 21 tiny libraries that will be dispersed around the community. The Construction Academy teaches students hands-on construction skills that they can utilize throughout their careers.
“I think as it, they began to get filtered out into the neighborhood and they start seeing books in them and we get some kids reading, especially the younger kids, that the importance of it you know will become apparent,” construction technology teacher Jason Rodgers said.
The students also learn building skills, furthering their education in construction. Many students in Rodgers’ class are interested in a future career in construction.
“It can’t be overstated how important it is for the community and for these kids to have good jobs,” Rodgers said. “And there are certainly in construction, there are good jobs.”
Annabelle Watkins, a student in Rodgers’ class, plans to pursue a future career as a painter. The Construction Academy helped her advance her skillset, Watkins said.
“I think it’s very beneficial because like this isn’t really a thing for girls and it was fun to do. And it’s a very hands-on class.”
Watkins is the only girl in her class, and one of four in the two construction classes offered.
“I really like it because a lot of the boys are like ‘oh it’s a girl she can’t do that,’” Rodgers said. “I’m like well we did it.”
Besides the tiny libraries, students in the Construction Academy have made buddy benches, bat houses and sheds after Hurricane Michael.
The tiny libraries are meant to be put up in neighborhoods around the area, but are available to anyone who wants them, for free. As of Thursday morning, Rodgers only had 19 tiny libraries left. If you are interested in one of the tiny libraries, you can contact Jason Rodgers or the Bay District School system.