CRESTVIEW — Hammers made steady tap-taps at Walker Elementary School this week, when Michelle Williams' first-graders built toy trucks.
During the annual Building with Dad period, students spend quality class time with their fathers, though grandfathers and two grandmothers also joined Tuesday's fun.
Each student built a wooden miniature recycling truck from kits provided by Lowe's Home Improvement's Build and Grow program.
Williams said she periodically registers her own children for the store's free monthly kids' construction clinics.
"Then I just started asking if I could have the kits for my class," she said.
The chain's stores typically have one kids' construction clinic per month, according to corporate public relations manager Amanda Manna.
'Having a blast'
"They're having a blast doing this," Walker Principal Jeanine Kirkland said.
Soon, Kirkland and assistant principal Lorna Carnley joined the effort and were on the concrete floor steadying nails for young carpenters to hammer into pre-drilled guide holes.
"Daddy, I need your help," Gracyn Wright called out to her father, Gene. "These things aren't going in good."
Wright held a nail for his daughter, cautioned her to tap it lightly to get it going, and then pulled his fingers out of the way. Once the nail was going, he said, "Hit it! Hit it!"
Soon, hammering sounds were replaced by shouts of glee as the kids sent their trucks careening around the pavilion.
As Sean Stout's truck banged into Mason Joseph's, Andy Powell — whose daughter, Claire, was treating her truck with more care — chuckled and said, "They build them, (and) then they're gonna tear 'em up."
Still, the time was well spent, Williams said.
"No one finds time to do stuff like this anymore," she said. "We're always cramming academics down and we forget this stuff is important, too."
WANT TO GO?
WHAT: Build and Grow clinic
WHEN: 10 a.m. May 10
WHERE: Lowe's Home Improvement, 298 Rasberry Road, Crestview
DETAILS: Clinic and building kits are free but parents must preregister their children at www.LowesBuildandGrow.com. Participants will receive a patch and certificate upon completing their project.