Andrew on the Front page!

Posted: December 9, 2008 in Cool Stuff just for you

I got a nice surprise tonight when I picked up our paper, my son Andrew was on the front page!

Congrats Andrew, you are a great kid.. er um.. young man!

New wood toys for good girls and boys
Tuesday, December 9, 2008 10:57 AM PST
MACLEOD PAPPIDAS | THE DAILY WORLD Students of the Grays Harbor College woodworking class pose in front of a fleet of handmade wooden toys that will be distributed to local kids for Christmas.

Nary a one of them is in a green vest nor a pointy hat with white fur trim, but the students in Adam Pratt’s woodworking class at Grays Harbor College may as well be elves. The 16 students have churned out more than 1,000 wooden toys to give as Christmas presents to children in need.

This will be the third year that the woodworking class has teamed up with the Grays Harbor Woodworking Guild to learn how to craft cars, helicopters, buses, grasshoppers, dogs and even babydoll cradles. And in the course of a mere two days, with spruce and hemlock donated by Northwest Specialty Wood, the students crank out enough toys for several social service agencies to distribute to a lot of kids.

The wooden toys are also destined for children of the college’s own students, who often are at the school because they want a better financial life for themselves. The college’s human services department takes the toys to pass out to students as part of their own project.

The toys aren’t nearly the only good works the students do. Every year they build a house for NeighborWorks of Grays Harbor as part of their coursework. But with toys, the results are quicker, and the skills are simpler.

“It’s fun,” said Adam Pratt, the woodworking instructor.

Even in a time where kids want iPods and Xboxes, the wooden toys hold their own allure.

“A lot of kids I’ve been dealing with have more fun with the wooden toys,” said Joe Brand of Hoquiam. “They have to use their imagination.”

“They float in the bathtub, too,” quipped Mike Snodgrass of Aberdeen. “No batteries required — parents love it.”

MACLEOD PAPPIDAS | THE DAILY WORLD Wood working student Andrew Moyer of Aberdeen sands the rough edges of what will be a toy school bus.

All of the toys are dipped in vegetable oil to give them a smooth finish, so they are completely non-toxic. They aren’t slippery, though, and lots of kids love to grab markers and paint and decorate away, Pratt said. Once, a teacher at the Cosmopolis School whose students got school buses made stickers with the students’ faces, handing them out so her class could put their friends’ faces in the “windows.”

Brand, who served in the Marines for 12 years and, more recently, was in the National Guard, is taking boxes of the toys to Fort Lewis for soldiers’ kids.

Most of the woodworking students come from a time when wooden toys were still common. While the youngest student is 16, the oldest is 67. And many are retraining after losing jobs in other industries, Pratt said.

All of the students say they get a kick out of making the toys.

“It gave all of us a good feeling to know we were helping others,” said Richard Pierce of Hoquiam, who, coincidentally, sports a white beard.

“We all had to work together” assembly-line style, added Gary Burgess of Aberdeen.

“Yeah, all the little elves,” joked Dwayne Henderson of Satsop.

  1. Sherri says:

    We loved seeing Andrew on the front page of the paper. It was a good story, too. 🙂

  2. Rhianna says:

    What made me notice he was in the paper was his GYC sweatshirt! I looked at the paper and thought, “Hey, that’s a GYC Sweatshirt!” then I saw who was wearing it! Way to represent! 🙂

    Anyways, it was a cool story and very cool that he got to have his pic in the paper!

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