Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Education

June 29, 2014

Acacia Academy students volunteer in New York City

NEW YORK CITY – Understanding the past, serving the present and paying forward to the future were the goals of Acacia Academy seventh- and eighth-grade students when they visited New York City during a class field trip in May.

After studying modern era history and civics this year, their studies came to life on this inspiring trip. Seeing and experiencing first-hand historical landmarks and hearing contributions made by immigrants enhanced the learning experience. Students visited sites such as Rockefeller Center, Times Square, the United Nations Building, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

“There was a ring of monuments with the names of immigrants on each slab,” said Tanner Davis, a seventh grader. “I searched for my ancestors, finding the names Hoffman and Lehner, which were names of relatives on my mom’s side.”

Acacia connected with an organization called Mission New York City to participate in community service activities. Mission NYC coordinated logistics as well as provided a guide and several community service opportunities. The first day, students volunteered at Saint John’s Bread and Life food pantry and soup kitchen. Waking up at 4:30 a.m. to begin their shift at 7 a.m., they travelled by subway to their destination. They donned aprons and hairnets, double-bagged food orders, checked I.D.s, distributed food and cooked and served a hot meal.

“While at the pantry a man named Chris came up to us and introduced himself,” Jaydyn Braun said. “Chris had special needs and he was volunteering. I was so impressed by Chris. Earlier I didn’t want to go, but seeing Chris serve people really touched my heart. After that, serving people was what I enjoyed most on the trip. Chris opened my eyes and the eyes of many others in our group.”

The students also attended a service at the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church during the trip.

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