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Students from Elyria non-profit help design new home thanks to local construction company

Posted at 6:32 AM, Jul 09, 2024

ELYRIA, Ohio — Back in January—News 5 spotlighted the work of "Save Our Children of Elyria."

The after-school outreach program and non-profit celebrated decades of success and experienced a surge in enrollment.

After school program in Elyria saves children's lives

RELATED: After school program in Elyria saves children's lives, encourages educational success

The non-profit is now taking efforts out of the classroom—and giving kids a hands-on learning experience.

They partnered with a local construction company to help design a brand-new home.

Officials say it's about keeping these kids mentally stimulated and engaged.

This latest project taught them the ins and outs of home buying and working in construction, as well as the overall importance of the trades.

The project was also a major fundraiser for the non-profit.

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Officials hope it inspires the students to stay creative and curious.

"They have a good eye for design if you ask me," Britney Perkins, Teachers Aide and Team Liaison at Save Our Children of Elyria, said.

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The kids behind Save Our Children of Elyria put their own spin on the term "A house is really a home," as they played an integral part in the design process of one.

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"I chose the colors and the stuff of the outside, and I chose whether it was gonna be a one or two story," Niara Mallory, an eighth grader, said.

The brand new three bedroom, one and a half baths, 1,600-plus square-foot home is located along South Logan Street in Elyria.

It is the result of teamwork, hard work and the community coming together.

"It made them feel like-- special to be able to choose and design something that they've never designed before because they didn't know how a house was built," Perkins said.

Students in grades fifth through eighth took their talents out of the classroom and into the field.

They worked hand-in-hand with staff from Dale Yost Construction to make the experience a reality.

"My daughter came up with the idea to build a house here and engage with the staff of Save Our Children, and it took off from there," Bob Yost, Previous Owner of Dale Yost Construction Company, said.

The construction company is located steps away from the home.

It is a long-standing supporter of the non-profit—which has enriched the lives of kids across the area for decades.

Hardworking laborers ultimately finished the build and design in about five months.

Yost says countless lessons were learned in the process.

"I think our goal is they work as a team number one. They see how we work as a team and just for any of them to get involved in the construction trade," Yost said.

The students selected a floor plan, learned how to price and finance a property, perfected the design and interiors and even signed off on their own work.

Perkins says the experience was beyond fulfilling.

"Some of our kids don't get to see outside of wherever they live at—so I think this was a great opportunity for them to see what other people outside of going to school and coming to after school programs," Perkins said.

Yost says as the trades grow in popularity—he sees talent in these students and he's excited for their future.

"I think after our conversation, there's probably a half dozen or so I think that would be interested in that," Yost said.

The house was successfully sold to a local family.

One of the highlights of this project is some of the profits from the sale go back to Save Our Children of Elyria.

They are on the receiving end of more than $50,000 so far.

That money will further help support programming and future projects for Save Our Children.

Yost Construction also works with the students directly to further develop their skills.

After high school, students are able to complete internships and are then offered future employment.

For more information and ways to support Save Our Children of Elyria, click here.