The sound of hammers colliding with wood echoed through the hallways of Erwine Intermediate School recently as a group of third graders assembled birdhouses with help from Home Depot volunteers.

The sound of hammers colliding with wood echoed through the hallways of Erwine Intermediate School recently as a group of third graders assembled birdhouses with help from Home Depot volunteers.

The students, excited about being able to handle building tools, were especially eager to see their efforts materialize into something they could take home and use.

“I liked it when I hammered the birdhouse,” said student Colton Terry, clad in his orange Home Depot apron. “It was awesome and really fun. I’m probably going to paint the front and back part red (because) red is my favorite color, and then the top light blue, and the two sides orange”

Terry, who was assisted by Home Depot volunteer Shawn Minoen, decided he was going to be handyman as an adult.

Also enthusiastic were Maria Church, Alexis Connolly and Patience Koenig, who enjoyed hammering and screwing nails into the birdhouse. Connolly proudly proclaimed that she was going to paint her birdhouse purple, pink and blue. Church and Koenig settled on blue and green.

Throughout the building process, the third graders were challenged with having to carefully read directions, handle heavy tools and listen to directions from the volunteers circulating around the room.

Reign Henry mentioned that the hammer was “really heavy,” but with the help of adults, she was able to finish her project with a large smile.

Teacher Michele D’Alessio decided to call Home Depot after the students finished research projects on how to build birdhouses for cardinals.

“When we were researching, (the students) wanted to know if we were going to actually build what they were writing about. This is what prompted me to call Home Depot,” D’Alessio said. “I called Home Depot to see if they would come to our school with one of their DIY projects for children. They have done birdhouses at the store. They volunteered to bring kits and teach our children.”

After finishing their how-to papers about birdhouses, D’Alessio wanted to reward her students for a job well done, while also extending the project and allowing them an opportunity to learn hands-on.

“(We) will be learning while doing the project because they will have to listen carefully and follow directions to build, read instructions when necessary, and cooperate with their group members. After the project is done, we will be comparing and contrasting what we built with the bird feeders they wrote about,” D’Alessio said.

D’Alessio thanked Home Depot for volunteering to help her students learn, as well as the other volunteers present for assisting the students in accomplishing their task.