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SCC students help get small motors running

Sophomores Elias Hofland (front) and Austin Watkins work on lawn mower engines brought in by residents as part of the small engines class' "Spring Startup Service."

St. Croix Central High School students are using their small engines knowledge to help area residents through their "Spring Startup Service."

On May 4 SCC small engines students started doing minor maintenance and service to small engines brought in by community members. They are providing the free service again on May 11, 18 and 25.

Residents wishing to get their small engines repaired or tuned-up for spring only have to pay for the cost of materials, as the students labor is considered a free community service.

Agriculture teacher Bill Emery said on average, the cost to repair the small engines, like those in a lawn mower, are around $6, depending on what materials are needed, be it a belt, oil, filter or gas line.

Emery said the district asks teachers to incorporate community service into their classrooms, and the startup service was one of the ways his small engines class could help out the community.

Emery said the startup service is a great service learning project for his students, because it "shows kids what it's like to work in the field and not just in the classroom."

After nine to 12 weeks of training, Emery said the students, lead by student shop foreman Elias Hofland, are quite capable of doing small maintenance and repairs to small engines.

The small engines students work on half a dozen to a dozen small engines a semester and Emery said so far he hasn't received any complaint about the students' work.

"I think we're doing a pretty good job," he said.

Not only are residents provided high quality service at a great price, but the wait time is usually only a day or less, Emery said.

Emery said the startup service gives students real-world experience, while "putting a feather in their cap."

The shop class will accept the first five machines that show up on Wednesdays in May, and will also do repairs and service by appointment.

To make an appointment for your small engine repair or service or for more information, call Emery in the Agriculture Department at the St. Croix Central High School, 715-796-5383.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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