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Replica Of Elvis' House Teaches Difficult Students Skills

March 18, 2007 | Other
Students of the Academy for Change (AFC serves students who have been suspended or expelled from other schools, or aren't succeeding in traditional education for one reason or another) are working on an idea of Ron Reed, public defender for Butte County, to build a replica of Elvis Presley's birth home.

Reed sees a lot of juveniles in court in his job as a public defender for Butte County, but he prefers to see them swinging hammers, drilling holes and painting. Reed presented the idea to Bernard Vigallon, the school's director, and immediately got a “yes”. He researched the project, taking measurements at the house personally, when he visited his sister in Tupelo, Miss.
The skeleton of the 19-by-30-foot house stood on blocks, plywood covering its floor and a roof framed above, the ends of each eave painted a clean white. The work is being done the way Elvis's father would have done it when the house was built in 1934. As part of the project, the students learned the geometry required to figure out roof angles, and they studied the history of the original house and of the Depression. They will write about the house and the era in language art classes, as well. If all goes according to plan, the new birth house will be ready by May.