Over the past two weeks, 32 Collegiate School students embarked on two service trips, during which they assisted Virginians in the towns of Dungannon and Emporia.
For the 13th year, 20 rising 8th Grade students, accompanied by faculty and staff members Laurie Goode, Teresa Coleman, Dan Bell, Amasa Monroe and Jason Engle, visited Dungannon, Virginia, for an annual service project.
While on the weeklong trip, students painted at the Hope House of Scott County, organized at Dungannon Thrift Store and Mountain Treasures Thrift Store, completed yardwork and organized at the Appalachian Community Action & Development Agency Inc., painted fences and spruced up picnic tables for the Clinch River Health Services and helped an elderly resident clean and organize her house. At the end of each day, students reflected on their experiences.
“We learned a lot both about ourselves and about others,” students shared on the trip blog. “We learned to always keep an open mind and listen to the ideas of others.”
Since its inception in 2006, more than 200 Collegiate students have had the opportunity to participate in the trip. Ms. Coleman, a Middle School art teacher, summed up the week of work and teambuilding this way:
“I shared an amazing week of service learning with this fierce group of co-workers and rising 8th Graders,” she said. “In the end, many students reflected that they really learned what work means. And in the process, we all came to learn how seeing someone in a new light actually expands your own world and how a week without television, phones and tablets can lead to the best bonding over board and card games."
Over the weekend of June 22-23, Upper School science teachers Dave Privasky and Leigh Thompson accompanied 12 Upper School students to Emporia, Virginia, to volunteer at a temporary medical program called Remote Area Medical (RAM).
RAM provides free medical, vision and dental services to individuals who cannot afford or do not have access to medical care. While there, students registered patients, assisted with traffic flow and ensured patients knew where to go, made glasses in the mobile eye lab and served food to more than 800 patients.
“Our team did an incredible job helping wherever they were asked to go,” said Mr. Privasky.
One of his favorite moments of the weekend was watching students play with several young children who were waiting as their parents received dental services.
“Collegiate volunteers played games, spoke Spanish and simply loved on the kids at a time that was pretty intimidating and overwhelming for a child,” Mr. Privasky said. “To see the sweet hugs as they parted ways and the parents’ relief to know that their kids were safe and taken care of was amazing. I am so proud of our students and all the tremendous volunteers who took part in this Emporia clinic.”