Philadelphia shop teacher hits the road to help students build the future

Evin Jarrett is hoping to reach more kids beyond the city, an effort inspired during his bout with COVID-19.

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Monday, August 1, 2022
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A Philadelphia teacher is helping kids in the region build a future by taking his shop classes on the road.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia teacher is taking his shop classes on the road to help kids in the region build a future.

Evin Jarrett is hoping to reach more kids beyond the city, an effort inspired during his bout with COVID-19.

We caught up with Jarrett as he held a plumbing 101 mini-camp outside the Ricketts Rec Center in Pottstown, Pa.

But there's something unique about Jarrett, who students call "Dope Teacher," and his camp.

During the year he teaches shop at Mayfair, the only building trades program for middle school students in the Philadelphia School District.

In the summer he's a building trades instructor, taking his talents on the road to reach more kids.

He recently got a mobile shop RV, taking his talents between Reading and Philadelphia.

"I got the RV two years ago. When I got the RV, I was in the hospital, and I had COVID. I thought I was about to die," he said.

"There was a lot of reflection and I said, 'If I get out of here, I'm going to do a lot more when I get out,'" said Jarret.

"As soon as I got out the hospital, my wife drove me up to West Chester, I got the RV."

It's outfitted with stations to teach electrical and plumbing work.

"This summer I scaled it back because gas is extremely high," he said.

Even with inflation, he's still funding this out of his own pocket.

"It's coming straight from the muscle," he said.

Jarrett is sponsored by a number of organizations like Rigid Tools and American Plumbing Stories, which helps keep summer programming free.

Even with material shortages, and the burden many teachers face with having to outfit their own classrooms with school supplies, Jarrett says this is a labor of love.

"I love what I do. I love tools, teaching," he said. "I'm not going to sit here and complain about problems, I'm going to come with solutions - try to help the youth out."