Sixth-grade Lovett students put math to practical use…

Lovett students Charlotte Lee, Julie Murray and Ansley Stibbs build birdhouses for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity with Lovett teacher Chris Mayer and Lovett employee Carlos Grimaldo.

Fractions and decimals are usually the bane of sixth graders’ existence, but the concepts sprang to life when the kids at The Lovett School in Buckhead learned real-world applications through a partnership with Atlanta Habitat for Humanity.

“Lovett puts a high emphasis on our Service Learning program throughout the year, and we’ve been partnering with Habitat to build houses for the last 24 years,” says Kevin Sauter, sixth-grade math teacher. “The only problem was that the kids couldn’t participate on-site until they were 16.”

Atlanta Habitat and Lovett collaborated to create a project with a classroom focus that would appeal to sixth-grade students, says Angela Morris-Long, Lovett’s director of civic engagement. The Home Depot provided 60 birdhouse kits that the math students assembled and art students painted.

During the two-day build, each 11- and 12-year-old took part in measuring, assembling and hammering not just the birdhouses, but also two storage sheds for future Habitat residents. The organization’s volunteers provided the expertise and taught the kids how fractions and decimals are essential to the building industry. The exterior of the storage sheds will be painted to match the new owners’ homes.

“The project was such a success, we hope to repeat it next year,” Sauter says.

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BY: Mickey Goodman