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Building a resting place for kids and caregivers

Students and teachers in Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES’ Day Care and Universal Prekindergarten Program now have a place to rest while enjoying their outdoor playground. Students in the Compass Program’s Technology 12 class recently built and donated a picnic table to the child care center.

About the picnic table project
The Technology 12 class, advised by STEM Coordinator Mrs. Jen Wall, consists of four Compass Program students: Tony Collura, Adrianna Agees-Atkins, Tyler Wilkinson, and Keara Thomas. For their first project, the group decided to build a picnic table. They researched different kinds of picnic tables, costs, tools needed, and created safety instructions for the proper use of the power tools.

“The big issue was determining where to put the picnic table once it was built,” said Keara Thomas.

The group identified the day care center’s need for a resting place in their playground and worked together to build the table.

“I am so impressed by the empathy exhibited by the students throughout the picnic table project,” said Mrs. Wall.  “The students identified that they thought it would be beneficial for the preschool to have the picnic table so that students could have a place to rest or sit when they were not playing. They also thought that the table would be nice for the teachers since they always seem to be standing at the playground and sometimes they might need a break and sit down.”
The project took a month to complete including the time the students spent conducting research and creating powerpoints on safety precautions. The students began building the picnic table on Nov. 3 and it was delivered to the playground on Nov. 18.

“We built it right on our school campus,” said Adrianna Agee-Atkins. "We built it by screwing pieces of wood together, sanding the table, and then painting it red. We chose the color red because it’s vibrant and stands out."

A hands-on learning experience
“From this project, I’ve learned several things,” said Tyler Wilkinson. “For starters, I learned all of the safety precautions that go along with building the picnic table. I also learned how to safely use all of the tools that are needed to build the picnic table. Lastly, I have learned how to cooperate better as a team rather than working alone. I think the most useful part of this project was the end, when we brought the table to be used at the playground of the daycare.”

“The most useful thing I learned during this project is how to use a Chromebook,” said Adrianna. “It’s the most useful because it’s a computer that we use a lot in this school and I might have to use it in the future.”

“Throughout this project we learned quite a bit,” said student Tony Collura. “We learned teamwork and we had fun and learned how to build and put the pieces together. We all worked hard and did our jobs.”

To learn more about the Compass Program at CO BOCES, visit

Note: Thank you to Mr. Ray Ludemann for letting the class use his CTE Shop to complete the project. Technology 12 students Keara Thomas and Adrianna Agee-Atkins contributed to this article. 






Brian K. Hartwell, Ed.D.
District Superintendent of Schools

1879 West Genesee Street Rd.
Auburn, NY 13021
Phone: (315) 253-0361

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