Filling a need: Rapid City High School students give back to local crosswalk guards

Students of Jeff Nelsen's Geometry and Construction class at Rapid City High School came together to build huts for crosswalk guards at Valley View Elementary and East Middle School.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — See a need, fill a need.

A goal for Rapid City High School students who came together to help out local crossing guards at Valley View Elementary and East Middle School. Those crosswalk guards who endure the cold and different conditions of the outdoors, make sure to help kids safely get home.

That’s where Jeff Nelsen’s Geometry and Construction Class gave back.

Rchs Crosswalk Huts 10

“So actually this started by a friend of mine who I ran into and said ‘hey, your kids should do this,'” said Nelsen, who’s been a teacher for five years at RCHS.

A meaningful act and creative way of giving back.

“It’s always nice helping out in the community, whenever you do your due diligence and you don’t have to, but you do it and it means something,” said RCHS student, Michael Ladeaux.

For others, it was their first time in Nelsen’s class. Something that presents its own challenges and rewards.

“It’s my first experience to do this and it really helps the community out here because it gets really cold outside in the winter time and the crossing guards like that and I really like to help,” said RCHS student Richard Catches.

For Jeff Nelsen, who’s in his final year as an instructor, the meaning comes in his students serving their community and working together.

“Working together as student teams in the shop is one thing, but to bring them out here to provide service for one of their fellow schools, I think adds great value to the students, it really does,” Nelsen said. “It gives it more meaning than just a project they did in the shop.”

The students helping out while learning more than geometry while having some fun.

“I’ve learned how to side, I’ve learned how to roof, I’ve learned how to build sheds multiple times,” said RCHS student Westley Thomas. “It’s a really beneficial class.”

“I think just working with everybody was the most fun,” said RCHS student Lilly Schmitz. “It’s a great place to be around and people to be around. Even if the work was hard, the people building it were fun.”

“They teach you how to take that math into what you need to do for construction and stuff like that, and especially if you want to do home renovations, you can just do it all yourself and save money on it,” said Gavin Wise, a RCHS student.

Students coming together to serve a need.

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