Matt, Mac and Jylon work on a Candyland-themed boat in Megan Kinkade's fourth-grade class at Mill Creek Elementary. The class is one of several from the school participating in this year's Float Your Boat event on April 22.

Matt, Mac and Jylon work on a Candyland-themed boat in Megan Kinkade's fourth-grade class at Mill Creek Elementary. The class is one of several from the school participating in this year's Float Your Boat event on April 22.

John Gerhart’s fourth-grade class at Mill Creek Elementary is taking boat-building to a whole new level.

This year, the students are constructing a house boat.

“All the kids will have their own room to decorate,” Gerhart said. “The kids will do their own measuring and design.”

The boat will debut at the sixth annual Float Your Boat for The Food Bank event on Saturday, April 22.

Gerhart’s class has participated in Float Your boat every year, using the fund-raising event as a project to learn measurements and other mathematical and engineering skills. Last year, his class’s sports car-themed boat took the Bass Pro Shops Award.

But the project has a much larger meaning for the youngsters, he added.

“This is a way for them to reach out and help the community,” Gerhart said.

Students in fellow fourth-grade teacher Megan Kinkade’s class agreed.

“My favorite part is that it raises money for The Food Bank,” said Jylon, a student who, along with Mac and Matt, spent last week working on the bough of their class’s boat. “We are thinking about other people.”

Kincade’s class is creating a floating replica of Candyland, complete with game pieces.

Gerhart this year also recruited more teachers to join in, including Janette Henry and her fifth-grade class.

Several of her students participated last year and that experience has allowed them to step up, she said. “It’s really fun to watch them become leaders.”

Float Your Boat challenges teams to construct boats made solely of cardboard and duct tape. Boats will then compete in races that will begin at 11 a.m. Spectators are encouraged to arrive around 10 a.m.