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Sleep-out Precedes Annual Service Day

Before heading to The Mack, students worked on our Empty Bowls project. (Courtesy/Mrs. Bening)

The second sleep-out in Academy history, held on the night of Thursday, September 12, blended into another vibrant Service Day.

The sleep-out, coordinated by Matthew Derzon’21, is designed to simulate teen homelessness and raise awareness about Columbus’s  Huckleberry House, a teen homeless shelter, crisis center and essential resource to aid teens in navigating their hardships.

Allowed only a sleeping bag, pillow, and toiletries, 35 students participated in the sleep-out, shedding light on the struggles homeless teens face everyday. 

During the event, students participated in Service activities to further build empathy for this cause. Fifteen students worked on our Empty Bowls event, while others created “feelings boxes,” which are used in therapy to help kids manage anxiety and other difficult emotions. Part of this project involves writing out feelings on papers that will be put into a box to be reflected upon at a later time in the counseling process.

The following morning, students participated in CA’s annual Service Day, as each advisory group volunteered at various Service sites across Columbus.

Before they dispersed to their sites, students gathered in the Dining Hall to listen to guest speaker, Kyra Crockett Hodge, the Youth Outreach Team Leader at Huckleberry House, who emphasized the importance of treating every fellow student with respect, no matter what their living situation.

Our upper school visited outdoor environmental sites, such as community gardens, worked in food pantries, cooked and served food, and organizing clothing items in shelters.


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