Building boxes to restore their school’s wood shop
Amado Montoyo, left, Will Kirk, Jandro Lobato, Max Rivera, Mario Lopez, and Janine Astorga
By Susan Sanderford | Manager, Town of San Luis
MAX Rivera, 82, dressed in denim from head to toe, walks around the Centennial wood shop and, by way of easy humor and a lifetime of knowledge, commands the room.
As students shuffle into class they greet their teacher in a friendly kind of way and then head straight to their projects: ambrosia maple keepsake boxes.
Earlier this year, the Centennial wood shop was robbed. Hammers, drills, saws, and more were taken in the night. The perpetrators were never caught and the equipment was never returned.
When everything was added up, the loss came out to around $3,200. Rivera was devastated. But conflict, no matter how unjust, leads to solutions. So with the instruction and guidance of their teacher, the students found a solution: ambrosia maple keepsake boxes.
For the past month, the students in the shop class have been hand-crafting boxes to sell to raise money to replace the lost tools. Made out of ambrosia maple, the boxes come in two sizes and are a beautiful place to keep jewelry, or other keepsakes.
Rivera, who taught shop class at Sierra Grande for 19 years before coming to Centennial, recognizes the importance of this project to his students. “This is a valuable part of self-actualization. When (the students) look at themselves and they see that they can do something and feel value in themselves, that is an important part of growing up.”
The boxes, along with camping chairs, are available to buy by calling the school at 719-672-3322. The price is $35 for the smaller box and $45 for the larger size. Camping chairs are $38 each.
All proceeds will go toward replacing what was taken from the wood shop.