Calvert students build birdhouses for a cause

A prototype of a baby box, where parents could surrender their newborns anonymously.

One teacher and one class is working on a project to save children and the Eastern Bluebird.

The STEM class at Calvert Catholic High School is building Eastern Bluebird houses and bird feeders. The goal is to build 200 houses in an effort to raise $10,000 for a Safe Haven Baby Box to be placed in the area.

Calvert Technology teacher Dave Kraft said if they sell at least 200 houses at $20 per house, they will be able to reach their goal.

The project’s inception was a long-awaited idea from science teacher Rachel Ousley.

“We want to be able to offer a safe alternative to women in crisis,” Ousley said. “We hear about babies being found in horrific places.”

The Safe Haven Baby Boxes have been introduced in multiple states. These boxes allow mothers to place their unwanted child in a safe haven baby box that is outside of selected locates with medically trained professionals. Boxes are equipped with heating and cooling features and have ADT silent alarm trips installed so emergency personnel are notified within 30-seconds that there is a newborn placed in the box. Boxes also are tested and maintained every six-months.

Ousley said the Tiffin Right to Life has also provided assistance donating $4,000 towards the purchase of the baby box. So far the project has itself raised $1,000, with $5,000 raised total so far.

Ousley said the project is to also help to make students aware of the consequences of their actions and to help others.

Calvert student Josh Gase said he is glad to be a part of the project to help babies.

“You aren’t thinking about saving lives when you are participating in this project, we are having fun,” Nick Seifert, another student participating in the project, said.

The class chose to work to save the bluebird because the species has nearly became extinct following the blizzard of 1978 – which from the extreme cold and large snowdrifts – the bird’s nesting spots were eliminated.

The project offers three options to help. You can purchase a bird house, a bird feeder or if you do not want either of those on your property, you can purchase one to be placed in a public area.

Kraft said a house was purchased to be placed at Lake Mohawk and currently have a Bluebird family residing in it.

To purchase either a bird house or bird feeder, contact Ousely at rousley@calvertcatholic.org or stop in at either the high school or elementary school office.

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