‘We returned to the halls of Haldane with fresh eyes’
By Clayton Smith
At 2 a.m. on Tuesday, March 18, 57 seniors assembled at Haldane High School to board a bus to JFK Airport, where they embarked on a three-hour flight to New Orleans. This trip was unlike anything the school had done in the past, as there was a strong emphasis on service learning.
Two of the five days were spent working with Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing low-cost homes to those in need. The class was split into two groups, which worked on different tasks in an effort to help rehabilitate the areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. One day, half the class went to the Habitat for Humanity site and worked on mixing concrete and building walls while the other half painted a local school building. On the next, these students went to work with Habitat and picked up where the first group left off, while the others visited a local preserve to plant irises and weed the wetlands.
In addition to the time spent volunteering, the senior class managed to take in some local flavor by experiencing a few tourist attractions. Highlights included dinner on the Steamboat Natchez, a tour of Honey Island Swamp, and a ghost walk tour through the French Quarter.
On working with Habitat for Humanity, class president Shauna Ricketts commented, “Working side by side we formed an unmatchable camaraderie. We returned to the halls of Haldane with fresh eyes that have witnessed immense poverty in our very nation and have taken strides against it together.”
The trip was a success and the senior class can only hope that this isn’t the last time Haldane students make a positive impact outside their community.
Photos by Shauna Ricketts
Thanks, Clayton. Your article made me feel like I was part of the trip. Job well done by you and all Haldane seniors, teachers, parents and friends who made this trip possible and such a success!