Laying the Groundwork for Learning: Volunteers Collaborate on Apache School Expansion

In early December 2023, 20 volunteers traveled to Peridot, Arizona, to break ground on a much-needed school expansion in the Apache community. The group, representing a collaboration between Kingdom Workers' Builders for Christ (BFC) and Build Up programs, worked for two weeks to lay the foundation for the new addition.

The current educational facilities in Peridot have long faced challenges due to limited space and resources. The school has experienced significant growth in recent years, with enrollment increasing from 70 to 130 students within a couple of years, reflecting the great interest in better educational opportunities on the reservation. Teachers have had to make do with cramped classrooms and inadequate living arrangements, using makeshift solutions like Lysol boxes as wall separators in their living quarters. The school expansion project aims to address these issues head-on by providing spacious classrooms, modern offices, and comfortable living spaces for teachers, creating an environment conducive to learning and teaching.

The volunteers tackled various tasks, from site preparation and excavation to plumbing and leveling.
They also installed the crucial rebar framework in preparation for the concrete pour. It was a true team effort, with volunteers bringing many skills and experiences to the project.

Among the volunteers were two students from Kingdom Prep's Build Up program in Milwaukee and three from Arizona Lutheran Academy, where another Build Up location has been flourishing. For these young people, the trip was an opportunity to put their learning into practice on a real construction site, working alongside experienced mentors from Milwaukee, Fox Valley, and ALA.

"It was a whole new experience," shared Build Up participant Anthony. "I learned so much about a new place and even got excused from school!"

Kayla, Leila, and Rylie, students from Arizona Lutheran Academy, played a key role in tying rebar, backfilling, and constructing forms for the future expansion. Two mentors and four volunteers from Kingdom Workers' DIY program joined them based on the Apache reservation.

The project also received support from the local community, with a group of volunteers from nearby
Whiteriver contributing a day of labor.

Jeff Ulman, Kingdom Workers' Apache Field Manager, expressed his gratitude for the outpouring of support. "We appreciate all of the help!" he said. "It was so wonderful to have volunteers from all our construction ministries working together on one project."

With the foundation laid, BFC began work on the new school building in January. The facility will provide much-needed space for students in the Peridot community to learn and grow, accommodating the school's rapid expansion and interest in quality education on the reservation.

The school's staff has expressed gratitude for the volunteers' efforts and the positive impact the expansion will have on their students and those they serve. This collaborative project exemplifies Kingdom Workers' commitment to working alongside local populations, providing volunteer opportunities to utilize their skills, and empowering the next generation of Christian leaders.


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