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By Selena Stevens

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The fund-raising activity provided an opportunity for MCAP Director Mildred Bailey's students to apply math skills they had learned in her program's classes..

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April 4, 2000 – (Lexington, Ky.) – On March 28, middle and high school students in the University of Kentucky Minority College Awareness Program presented the Lexington Habitat for Humanity with 31 houses. The cardboard houses contained money the students had collected to support a new Habitat initiative, “The House that Women Built.”

“You could tell this was truly the students’ work,” said MCAP Director Mildred Bailey. “Many of the boxes were full of quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies.”

MCAP is a program established by the governor and aimed at preparing minority youth for college. The program centers on math and literary skills and utilizes parental involvement to reach its goals.

Bailey decided to make the paper house collection a project for her students after Habitat officials invited the program’s participation. In the project, she saw an opportunity for her students to apply the math skills they learn in MCAP classes, as well as learn of their good fortune.

“It was a practical way of sensitizing them to what they have,” Bailey said. “Many of us sometimes fail to appreciate what we have. The students need to realize there are people who don’t have some of the things they take for granted.”

To fulfill the project, students filled their cardboard house with money according to instructions from a calendar chart. On each of 31 days, the calendar “charged” a certain amount of money for a feature of the students’ homes. For instance, day four calls for a 10 cent deposit per room, and day 19 calls for 20 cents per TV and 25 cents per VCR.

“The item and money counting showed the students that math is not a matter of choice. Life uses it in many ways,” Bailey said.

Another plus for the project, Bailey said, was that it encouraged family involvement, a staple of MCAP.

“To find and count some things, like electrical outlets, students had to get the help of parents,” she said.

MCAP parent Dianna Golphin said she was glad to help her four students participate in the project.

“It promotes in them an awareness of what life can be like for others,” she said. “A lot of kids don’t realize that there are kids who go to bed at night without a pillow. They don’t realize how lucky they are.”

Golphin, who works with Lexington Habitat, said she and others at Habitat hope the project shows the students the value of community service and leads them to continue to volunteer. In fact, most of the MCAP students and parents have already volunteered to help build the home.

Students from across Fayette County, as well as organizations, businesses and other individuals who support the development of women and children are participating in fund raising for “The House that Women Built.” Construction, by women, on the house will begin during “Building on Faith Week,” Sept 11-17.

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