A strong educational foundation

Evergreen students help teacher, other Habitat homeowners in Empire

Corinne Westeman
cwesteman@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/1/21

When one of their teachers and her neighbors needed help preparing their new yards, students Evergreen Country Day School were more than willing to help. The school’s 16 seventh-graders took a …

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A strong educational foundation

Evergreen students help teacher, other Habitat homeowners in Empire

Posted

When one of their teachers and her neighbors needed help preparing their new yards, students Evergreen Country Day School were more than willing to help.

The school’s 16 seventh-graders took a field trip to Empire’s Habitat for Humanity project site on May 21. There, they prepared the soil and put down sod at three houses, including the future home of ECDS teacher Coral Herrin.

Herrin, who currently lives in Arvada, has taught at ECDS for several years, most recently as a third-grade teacher. So, having the students take a field trip to her house and help set up her yard was incredibly meaningful, she described.

“I had some of these students in first-grade,” she said. “ … They’re working hard.”

Seventh-grader Ronan Pocock, one of Herrin’s learning support students, said he appreciated the opportunity to see his teacher’s future home and take a break from school.

“I love being out in the mountains,” Ronan said. “It’s a beautiful spot.”

Ronan and classmate Callen Dickerson described Herrin as extremely nice, funny, creative and fun to be around.

Ronan commented that she’s serious but in a good way, while Callen said, “Her bark is worse than her bite.”

Both boys felt honored to help Herrin and her new neighbors in Empire.

Callen, who also had Herrin as a learning support teacher, said she’s his favorite teacher and he hasn’t gotten to see her much this year because of COVID-19 precautions. So, volunteering at her new house meant a lot to him.

Fellow seventh-grader Gabby Peonio, who was finishing her first year at ECDS, said she’s doesn’t know Herrin as well as her classmates, but appreciated the opportunity to help all the same.

She enjoys volunteering, saying, “It’s an honor that they asked us to come out and help.”

Additionally, Gabby said the May 21 trek to Empire marked her first time going on a field trip, explaining how her previous school never had any. So, she greatly appreciated the chance to work outside the school and volunteer.

The idea behind the field trip was to help students learn the spirit of giving back and have that tangible experience, middle school teacher Victoria Hutchen said.

While it’s good to help others in general, having that connection between the students and Herrin made it all the more memorable.

“They can see the progress and feel that they’re making a difference for someone they know,” she continued. “Coral has been in so many of their lives for so many years.”

Thanks to the students and other volunteers’ hard work, Herrin and her family are set to move into their new Empire home mid-July, she said. Blue Spruce Habitat for Humanity has been wonderful to work with, and she appreciated the organization’s flexibility whenever problems came up.

Because of her teacher schedule, Herrin hasn’t been able to work on her own home much and has been spending her sweat equity hours at Habitat’s resale store instead.

Thus, spending a beautiful Friday working on her future yard with her students was very special, she said, adding, “It’s amazing that they want to help me out.”

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