Students whose idea of a fun spring break is helping other people had the opportunity to participate in two alternative spring breaks, one at Pocahontas State Park outside of Richmond, Va., and the other at Mariam Boyd Elementary School in Warren County, N.C.
The state park group is spending their time working on various park projects. Past projects have included clearing land for an educational nature trail, bridge construction, tearing out old fishing piers and building and installing new ones. The students are staying at one of the lodges in the park.
The students working at Mariam Boyd Elementary School are tutoring the children one-on-one, and giving them group reading/math help, as well as performing general classroom aid duties. The group is staying at the Methodist Church in Norlina, and working with the church after school program. Some of the America Reads students here have written pen pal letters that the group has taken down with them.
Students in North Carolina with Assistant Director of Public Service Katie Scollin are seniors Rachel Baron, Alicia Pagan, Antonia Thomas, and Mabel Thomas; junior Cait Allen; sophomores Elizabeth Guzzetti, Charlie Moffitt, and Mariza Pereira, exchange student Sunghee Pak, and first-years Keith Datz, Kirra Henick-Kling, Dana Marra, Veronica Mora, and Natalie Tahsler.
Students in Virginia with Director of Public Service Ave Bauder are juniors Kumara Govardhan, Matt Lyttle, Stephanie Sadlon, and Alexis Swan; sophomores Caterina Saracino, Alison Singer, and Lilli Worona; and first-years Jenna LaVita, Christine Moskell, and Andrew Siskind.
Lyttle was featured in the March 13 Democrat and Chronicle story “Some forgo beach to help others”.
“Just to know you're really appreciated in the work that you do is really something powerful,” said Lyttle. And besides, he said, “it gets to be about 75 degrees there, so can't complain. You can make me do anything if it's going to be 75 degrees out.”
“There's definitely a group of students who feel that being involved — whether it's locally or outside — is something they need to do as citizens,” said Scollin. “Students — increasingly, I think — want to do something meaningful. And we always try to aim for someplace warmer.”
The Virginia group was also featured in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.