MISSOULA - This week's One Class at a Time grant winner is Hellgate High School building trades teacher Chip Rinehart.
You might remember Rinehart from early in the pandemic when his classes built desks for young students who didn't have a proper place to study at home, to take with them. Rhinehart says his "shop" classes are a good fit for many of his ninth through twelfth-grade students.
"A lot of students can't always learn by reading or being talked at. A lot of people learn by using their hands. This is a good place for them,” Rinehart said. “Some students may struggle in some other classes, they get a chance to really shine, doing things they are naturally good at in here."
Many students will use those skills later in life, on the job or at home. With his $250 grant, Rinehart will continue to buy basic carpentry tools for the students' tool bags that they use throughout the program. Hammers, chisels, pliers, even pencils, and tape measures will go in the bags. And after completing the program, a real reward for the students.
"Man, how cool would it be if the students got to keep the bags when they graduate? And so, when my students go through all three levels of the building trades classes they get to take their tool bags home with them. I hope it gives them that extra confidence to go on a job site and ask for a construction-related job.,” Rinehart said.