School builds Christmas display to give back to the community

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MEADE, Kan. (KSNW) – There are just over two weeks until Christmas and for one school, they’re getting into the Christmas spirit.

“It just seems like it grows bigger and bigger every year,” said Meade High School industrial instructor Mike Koehn.

What first started as an ornament competition has now grown into a holiday spectacle.

“The amount of stuff we put up each year gets bigger and more elaborate, like last year we built a Ferris wheel,” said student Braden Howard.

For 10 years, Koehn and his students build Christmas themed rooms to bring some fun into the classroom.

They never do the same theme in a row so each year they fundraise to purchase new items and build brand new designs for the display.

More than 700 children from surrounding communities come through to see these lights.

The decorations have become more than a class project though.

For a small donation, anyone can take a tour of the displays and the money raised goes to a local charity to help families in need.

“There are some kids that come through here, that some of them this might be the only Christmas they get,” Koehn said. “It is heartwarming that we can help with what we can, some kids ask Santa for a bed and knowing we can try and help that makes it worth it.”

“It shows that you know, you can have fun while you’re in school and doing something special, but the big thing is that they learn a lot from these projects,” said Superintendent Kenneth Harshberger.

Even though the building and designing take months to put together, Koehn said he hopes it grows bigger so they can help more people in the community and teach more students along the way.

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