Teaching trades helps build a foundation for career success


Need a shed? Who doesn’t?

“The new Crow Middle/High School construction class has been busy building an awesome storage shed which will soon be raffled off to the public,” said Michele Kau, a Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District teacher. “What makes me most proud is the craftsmanship that these students have demonstrated in building this structure – and another one like it – earlier this year.

“Our awesome shop teacher Kyle Kishen is doing a fantastic job of arming these kids with some life-long, incredibly valuable skills that they will be able to take with them when they leave us at the end of their high school years … and that’s pretty great!”

This past week the school has launched the sale of the tickets for anyone who wants to be eligible to win the shed. Two hundred tickets are being offered for $50 each. The drawing will take place as soon as they are sold. Proceeds will be used to help pay for future construction projects. Contact the Crow Middle/High School office if you want to buy raffle tickets at 541-935-2227.

I also recently read about one of the construction projects undertaken by Eugene 4-J School District called, “Future Build House.” Students work half days to finish construction of low-income housing by learning skills such as cutting and attaching siding, installing windows, and using the tools of the trade. By doing so, they can also earn College Now credit through Lane Community College.

These projects are life-changing for some students and it’s the kind of thing that has been absent from many of our schools in recent years when so much emphasis was put on college advanced placement courses and preparation for four-year colleges, while discontinuing the trades classes that have been so popular in the past.

I have long believed that both options are vitally important in today’s high school education – even in middle school. Not all students choose to go to a four-year college whether it be due to finances, academic status or a desire to train at either a trade school or the school of hard knocks. 

Don’t get me wrong – higher education benefits all students – even those interested in working in construction, retail sales, auto mechanics, farming, the hospitality industry, computer technology, and so many other occupations that keep the cogs in the wheel of our daily lives working, if they are able to attend. But, it’s important to expose all students to the many and varied choices available to them and not downplay or denigrate the vital role that being a tradesman or, in today’s jargon, “blue-collar worker” play in all of our lives.

Kudos to the return of trades classes in a lot of our schools!


The Rural Art Center’s Lorane Movie Night will be presenting another unnamed family-appropriate movie at the Lorane Grange on Saturday, Feb. 11. Dinner, which includes a selection of homemade soups and bread, will be served at 6 p.m. Before the movie begins at 7 p.m., RAC’s current community ukulele group will perform. The last movie night of the season is scheduled on Saturday, March 11.


Mark your calendars! RAC partners with the Lorane Grange to provide another fun community event on Sunday, April 16, at 3 p.m. The annual Community Talent Show organizers are seeking people with all kinds of talented acts and displays – both formal and funny – to sign up for this year’s events. 

All of the various acts will be performed on stage at the grange, and display talent – artwork, books, crafts, etc. – will be displayed in the grange kitchen for everyone to view. 

Contact either Lisa Livelybrooks of RAC ([email protected]), or Lil Thompson of the Lorane Grange (541-942-3401; lilyh[email protected]) for more information or to sign up. 

Online: allthingslorane.com



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