South Orangetown Central School District

Ms. Yelin's class with Yelin Town collab construction

For more than 20 years, William O. Schaefer Elementary School teacher Rachel Yelin has engaged her students in “Yelin Town,” a collaborative construction project. This year’s build was completed last week.

Students were each provided with an empty school milk carton to take home and transform into a house to place in their community, along with the various other buildings they created at school with their families at school on May 17. Using cereal and shoe boxes, cardboard paper towel tubes, and other materials, students were assigned to create the buildings that their community needs, such as a library, supermarket and fire station. Then, they could add features that represented “wants.”

“It is the culmination of our study of economic systems (learning about needs and wants), our maps and resource unit and, with the use of recycled materials, Earth Day,” Yelin said. “It’s a fun way for parents to get involved and build community in every way.”