WEBSTER — Kindergartners at Holy Trinity School helped make a difference in their community at the end of the 2004-05 school year by donating to a parish ministry the $480 they raised by selling their homemade bluebird boxes.
Students learned about birds during the school year then took a field trip to Mendon Ponds Park, where they fed chickadees from their hands, said their teacher, Janet Schoenberger.
“As you can imagine, it was difficult keeping 20 5- and 6-year-olds quiet enough to have birds feed from their hands,” Schoenberger said.
The class decided to concentrate on learning about bluebirds and build boxes for them because “they’re endangered to being extinct,” said kindergartner Kyle Norton.
Kyle’s classmate, Amanda Hutteman added, “They are God’s nature. We built the boxes to have the bluebirds come back to Webster.”
Bluebirds are also New York’s state bird, Andrew Konopa remarked.
Gerald Keebler, a father of one of the kindergartners, donated and cut the 25 sets of wood the students used to create their bluebird boxes. Students took part in every aspect of the project, from staining wood to nailing pieces together, Schoenberger said.
Another father, Don Farnsworth, came to class every Wednesday morning to teach the students woodworking skills.
“It was fun (and) nice to teach them,” Farnsworth said.
“The children loved having fathers involved in the educational process,” said Schoenberger, adding that it was a good project for parent involvement and also for the ministry that was supported, Holy Trinity Parish’s House of Hope.
The House of Hope, located in the former convent next to the school, was established in 1998 and serves as a resource center assisting financially needy individuals in the community, according to Judith Kiehl, pastoral associate.
Parents and teachers purchased the bluebird boxes, and proceeds were given to the ministry on June 10.
“The kids did a fantastic job and are very proud of their work, and we are very proud of them, too,” Schoenberger said.
“I personally think this is one of the best projects I’ve ever seen,” Kiehl noted.