From Benson High with Love

To celebrate the accomplishments of the Benson Polytechnic High School ninth grade tech geometry class, Cheyenne Montalbin’s students presented two gifts to the Portland community: a hand-crafted stage for events at the Portland Mercado and a one-of-a-kind playhouse to benefit the Trinity Early Learning Center.  
Parents, teachers, students, and friends united around the hard work of these students who partnered with Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East to support the Playhouse Experience--one of Habitat’s new team building programs where corporate groups assemble and decorate a children’s playhouse to donate to a family from a local nonprofit and provide a donation starting at $2,500 per playhouse that goes toward building more affordable homeownership opportunities throughout Portland.  
“I believe that this partnership between Habitat for Humanity and our Tech Geometry program at Benson High School is mutually beneficial,” Cheyenne, Benson High Tech Geometry & Tech Algebra teacher said. “I know that our students care about everyone’s right to affordable housing and I think they end up valuing their own high school experience more when the learning is centered around supporting real people’s lives.” 
By applying practical carpentry skills learned in class, these ninth graders not only dedicated a whole semester to supplying lumber kits to Habitat’s Playhouse Experience program, but also went above and beyond by building a playhouse of their own. Complete with saloon doors and ADA-accessible entryway, their eye for detail and careful precision was a true gift for the young students of Trinity Lutheran. 
“They were amazed that other big kids built the playhouse just for them,” Director of Trinity Early Learning Center Erica Kirch said. “I hope the students and staff at Benson Polytechnic HS know just how grateful we are for their donation and their hard work! As a non-profit community learning center, we are able to offer even more special play opportunities to the kids in our program because of this. Thank you!” 
From all of us here at Habitat, we cannot express how grateful we are to have partnered with such a brilliant class. We’re sure the kids of Trinity will enjoy this fantastic playhouse for years to come. 
“It has been an absolute joy and blessing to be a community partner with Habitat for Humanity!” Erica said. “We are overwhelmed by the generosity of this program and the people behind the scenes who have helped us to improve our school. Our kids were bursting with joy when they got to run out onto the playground and climb around in the new playhouse for the first time.” 
Want to learn more about the Playhouse Experience? Click here. 

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