EAGLE Charter students build library with pretend money

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EAGLE Charter students build library with pretend money

Published 5:43 p.m. PT Feb. 2, 2017 | Updated 9:36 p.m. PT Feb. 2, 2017

“Mom, this feels weird,” said Vienne Doucette-Hardy, 6, as she put on oversized work gloves.

She turned to her mother, who was volunteering in the first-grade classroom at EAGLE Charter School in Salem.

Vienne was at the station where students were hammering nails to attach roof shingles.

Students in K-5 classes at the school use “micro-bucks” to buy trinkets and services made and offered by other students. The initiative is part of the school’s “micro-society” philosophy.

Now, the philosophy is spilling out into the rest of the world for these kiddos.

This week, 24 students used materials they bought from Home Depot with their micro-bucks to build a mini library.

There were paint, nails and orange aprons aplenty.

Students worked together to hammer on roof shingles, paint the door frame, screw in the sides of the little library, and draw their dream mobile libraries.

“Oh my gosh, that’s so cool,” said Penelope Brenneman as she drilled screws into the sides of the wooden walls.

The class completed the library the same day and will soon fill it with a shelf of chapter books and a shelf of picture books. The library will be available for auction at an upcoming fundraising night for the school’s parents club.

The teacher, Stacey Morgan, has done this once before, with one of her first-grade classes two years ago.

The first library is on a corner near the school, where people from the public can take and leave books at their leisure.

John Trotta, the principal at EAGLE, said the project helps in more ways than one.

“We consider the entire process a service learning project,” he said. “The kids work on a project to give back to the community and in the process learn and experience giving and the importance of community.”

Contact Natalie Pate at npate@StatesmanJournal.com, 503-399-6745, or follow her on Twitter @Nataliempate and Facebook at www.Facebook.com/nataliepatejournalist

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Natalie Pate

Natalie Pate is the education reporter for the Statesman Journal in Salem, Oregon. Natalie has previously worked for organizations and publications such as Direct Relief International, Waging Non-Violence, and Amnesty International USA. She has had stories published with USA Today, Associated Press and Ozy, among others. Natalie earned her B.A. in Politics and French and Francophone Studies (FFS) from Willamette University. During her studies, she wrote a Politics thesis titled, "No One is Dying: How and Why the U.S. Federal Government Avoids Executing Prisoners on Federal Death Row" and an FFS thesis, in French, on cannibalism in the 16th and 17th centuries. Natalie is a journalist, performer, traveler, fiction writer and more. She is working to publish her dystopian novella, "Choice," which follows a man during 24 hours in solitary confinement for allegedly committing murder. For more information on Natalie visit www.about.me/natalie_pate, like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nataliepatejournalist, or follow Natalie on Twitter (@Nataliempate) or Tumblr (Nataliempate blog "In the Shoes of a Journalist"). Her reporting with the Statesman Journal can also be found at www.StatesmanJournal.com.

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