LeCroy Career Technical Center’s auto collision repair students in Clanton, AL, continued a Christmas tradition last December as they completed pedal cars to be given to children who would not be getting many presents that month.
Teacher Jason Duren started the tradition with his class in 2017 with two cars. Last year, students from the morning and afternoon classes completed four cars. Each class completed one car for a girl and one car for a boy.
Counselors at the elementary schools choose the recipients. Last year, a student from Isabella, Verbena, Maplesville and Thorsby each received a car.
The cars come in a kit, but students customize the paint scheme and add details. Last year, the students decided to add engine components to the body design. Each group discussed and chose the colors it wanted to add. Each student then had a specific aspect that they focused on completing.
“It brought us all closer together,” Renissa Dennis of Verbena High School said.
Zoe Watley of Isabella High School said she enjoyed doing the project for a child who did not have much.
Watley mostly worked on painting the cars but also worked on the motor mount.
She said it was challenging to “try to figure it all out together because there were so many of us.”
Bailey Littleton of Isabella High School enjoyed painting the vehicle. He also helped with sanding, taping and other prep work before the vehicles were painted.
One of the teams found the headlights and adding the aesthetic engine pieces to be challenging.
The group that Jose Campos of Jemison High School was a part of added a pinstripe design to its car. The group discussed possible designs then chose one that would fit well with the paint colors. Campos said adding the decal without peeling the paint off of the car was challenging.
“When we were putting it together, it was hard to do some of the bolts,” Dennis said.
Campos said he enjoyed that they “all got to work on it together.”
“I enjoyed talking about it and finding out what the colors were going to be,” Rowlan Brady of Verbena High School said.
He sanded the inside and outside of the car before it was painted.
“It was fun to do,” Brady said.
The project was completed while working on other projects. One class worked on the cars for six weeks, while the other had three weeks to complete them.
The collision repair class also enlisted help from students in the HVAC and STEM programs at LeCroy to create the engine components. STEM students created some of the components using a 3D printer. Duren said he hopes the class can complete six cars next time, so that a student at every elementary school in Chilton County Schools will receive one.