Tolkien News

Small Country School Teaches Kids By Building a Hobbit House

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If a school like this existed when I was a a kid, I would have made my parents relocate long ago. Whittenburg Country School (WCS) is located just outside Red Bluff, California. It’s a small one room school house that sits on 50 acres of beautiful landscape, and though small in size, the journey the school is about to embark on is anything but little.

The first year WCS began, The Hobbit was read out loud to it’s students, and it was decided then and there that their school mascot would be a Hobbit. Now in it’s third year, WCS is planning to take their love for Tolkien beyond the books and into reality: they’re going to build a Hobbit house.

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Yes, there’s actually a school teaching children by building a Hobbit house. Now do you see why I would have made my parents relocate?

The project is aimed to to help students learn traditional crafting methods, letting them have a hand in working with concrete, masonry, woodworking, metalwork, and even stained glass. School principle Zach Whitten explains, “The basic structure will be a concrete barrel arch, with the boards that are used for the interior form then becoming the wood lining for the walls and ceiling. We’ll have a wall at either end, with a round door (and central doorknob) at one end and a round window at the other.”

So, just how are they fronting the bill? WCS launched a Kickstarter campaign to help cover most of the building costs, and they have successfully reached their gold with 8 days to spare, and yet backers and donations keep pouring in. “We’ve been blown away by people’s generosity thus far,” Whitten confessed. “Backers have included school families and friends, as well as strangers from as close as Sacramento and as far as England, France, Sweden, and Australia. We’ve even had 3/4″ solid oak flooring donated for our house.”

“With any additional funds, we’ll be able to make a better hobbit house, such as adding a fireplace and chimney (mostly just for looks) and even a second room,” Whitten continued. “We intend to make the inside look very homey, as a hobbit hole should be. And it will be child-sized, with a ceiling height of between four and five feet, good for kids or hobbits, but requiring significant stooping for most of us ‘big people.'”

And if all that wasn’t enough to convince you of how awesome this school is, check this out: the WCS Hobbit house will have a bookcase dedicated to Tolkien’s books, ready and waiting for readers to pick them up and venture into Middle-earth. Best. School. Ever.

To become a WCS Hobbit house backer and view a full list of their backer rewards, CLICK HERE.

 

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