Friday, April 26, 2013

Social studies in action: students observe, question and write about the Fuller Center for Housing, Veterans Build

Students observing the Fuller Center volunteer house construction project adjacent to Olive St were introduced to social change in action.

Martha St, a neglected street in the Stoner Hill neighborhood, is the site of the building of 4 houses - dedicated to impoverished veterans.

The Fuller Center house plan is designed to be affordable to people of limited means. Yet it is not a give-away program.
- All house applicants must participate in 350 hours of non-paid work called "sweat equity" prior to qualification.
- Residents take on mortgage payments of about $400 per month.
- By building new houses instead of patching old ones the Fuller Center intends to raise the standards and spirits of discouraged neighborhoods.

Fuller Center is a national organization created by the late Millard Fuller (1935 - 2009), an attorney, missionary and philanthropist from Alabama. Honored by Presidents Carter, Clinton and Bush, he developed Habitat for Humanity Intl. In 2005 he founded the Fuller Center for Housing.

Volunteers from NY, California and Ohio have converged on Shreveport to work.
Gail Saetta of One Small House, an organization that ordinarily builds dwellings in Mexico and Haiti, described her outreach to Roger Waters, contributor and famed as a musician in the band Pink Floyd.

Famed musician John Mayer spent a day painting a Fuller house on Martha St. On June 1 CBS news star Diane Sawyer is scheduled to broadcast from the Martha St site.

As visits to the site continue, students are encouraged to watch their steps - boards and nails are everywhere - and ask as many questions as possible.

A descriptive essay, "Social studies in action," will be written in class.