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9 months ago @ 9:34PM

VAHS Students Sleepover in Gym to Support Homelessness Awareness

by Mark Spring - English Teacher @ VAHS
 
As part of a homelessness awareness project, 25 students and three teachers took a night to camp in the gym at our school (I took the couch in my classroom).
 
Not even close to being as hard as real homelessness--we had company, food, a sense of purpose, and the assurance that we are activists, not homeless individuals--but the experience was enough of a subtraction from the norm to tap (if not add to) my capacity for noticing layers of good fortune.
 
We woke up and left at about 6:30, and afterward, I walked around downtown Durham near Cocoa Cinnamon at the start of a morning that makes me understand why I like being in North Carolina, state politics aside. The peace in the city, the clarity of the light, the effulgence of the flowering trees, and the depth of the quiet seemed like but a few of the layers of fortune laid bare. I told myself I'd write this post before the feeling of the morning had passed. It is now five hours later, and the feeling has not passed.

 

The class that helped me experience this morning in a new way showed me how our school's Project SERVE program can teach students and educators how to see our lives in a different--a more appreciative--light. Last night, in the group reflection session, I saw teens developing deeper awareness and empathy, and I noticed clearly the value of this program.

 

I helped this program put together a GoFundMe page last week because the class needs a final boost to ensure that the students' D.C. and Baltimore service-learning trip is safe, positive, and easier where and if it can be. I wanted to share with this Facebook community a chance to be part of telling the students that their class and their mission is valuable. I'm not going to be part of this class's trip (I'm leading a local two-day yoga course for another group), but I'm a fan of this group and feel grateful to them for their guts and hard work. 

 

If you like supporting causes like this one, please do join me in supporting this class! Gifts of $4 or more would rock. It's the message that counts. OR, send me a message and I'll pass it along to the group to read as they travel to D.C. And, if you feel like it, please do share this post with anyone you think might be motivated to read about this class's work.

 

Here's their post: https://www.gofundme.com/homelessness-matters-to-us

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