Lead Carpenter Helps Preschoolers Grow

Spark! Discovery Preschool in Frederick, provides a positive, fun, engaging and rigorous early childhood learning environment. With a goal of inspiring children with tools to accelerate learning, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) teaching philosophy “SPARKS” curiosity and creativity.

Dudley Goff is the lead carpenter for the St. Vrain Valley School District – the “go to” repairman for all 52 schools. In that capacity, Dudley and his talented staff of eight build cubbies, desks and cabinets in addition to repairing floors, chairs and ceilings. He’s been a woodworker since he was 14. And he’s also a painter, a landscaper, a tile worker, a stonecutter and a father of two teachers. He loves woodworking and loves to share his craft with others.

Nicky Willis, preschool teacher at SPARK Discovery Preschool in Frederick, arranged a presentation to showcase Dudley’s woodworking skills in conjunction with her classes’ unit on trees and what you can make with them.

Working Wonders with Wood
Dudley put together a display illustrating hard woods and soft woods. Traditionally, hardwood trees have leaves and softwood trees have needles. Three classes of three and four year old preschoolers passed around walnuts and acorns, as wells as small items Dudley had made, including jewelry boxes, a rolling pin and a cutting board.

"It was wonderful to see the students’ faces light up as they studied each item. One little girl said she was headed home to make something out of a tree in her backyard." - Dudley Goff, Lead Carpenter, St. Vrain Valley Schools

Students were fascinated by a chair and table made from trees and a five foot grandfather clock made of rough barn wood. Dudley showed the audience how to measure wood to incorporate math skills in the presentation.

"Dudley’s presentation supports our STEM philosophy by showing children real world experiences and 21st century skills. He’s a real person – a person they know who makes a living making unique items out of wood." - Nicky Willis, Spark! Discovery Preschool Teacher

Lead Carpenter “Leaves” Lasting Impression.
Following the presentation, the preschoolers sent Dudley a card that thanked him for “helping us grow.” Each leaf held a fingerprint of one of the students with their signature.

"In preschool, we like to start showing students real life experiences of what they can do and become. It’s a first step in career readiness that exposes students to different skills and fields of expertise." - Paige Gordon, Principal, Spark! Discovery Preschool