Habitat for Humanity discusses this year’s plans

Jolie Krooks ('09)/Eastside Online Editor-in-Chief

What did you do for Spring Break?

The typical East student visits family, competes in sports tournaments, vacations in Cancun or catches up on sleep.

Thirty-five students last year built houses.

“Being able to build a whole house in a week is quite an experience,” said Dane Berkowitz (’10).

Since Spanish teacher Mr. Console introduced Habitat for Humanity to East in 2004, students have been able to build homes for needy families during the spring break week-long trips, overnight trips to Baltimore and on “day build” trips.

“Habitat is a lot more than the spring break trip,” said school librarian Ms. Rion.

Indeed, this year students are required to attend one of the day build trips before committing to the spring break trip.  Thus, they will become more experienced with tools and will be able to decide whether they really want to build houses for a week.  Day build trips cost 15 dollars.

Instead of or in conjunction with the spring break trip, students can also attend the Baltimore weekend trip Nov 6-8 for 200 dollars.  In addition to building houses, Habitat also visits Fort McHenry and the National Aquarium.

The spring break trip this year will be April 5-ll in John’s Island, South Carolina, the same place as last year.

“We had such an amazing week that that’s where we’re going this year,” said Ms. Rion.

Like the Baltimore trip, it does not only consist of building houses.

“There’s a lot of stuff that make it a fun trip,” said Brett Levine, East Habitat co-president and coordinator of trips.

Students go into town at night and enjoy the beach.  There are also groups of students from different high schools and colleges throughout the country with whom East interacts.

“(I was able) to see a new community, a new culture,” said Alex Adler (’09), East Habitat co-president and coordinator of day builds.

Of course, the focus of the trip is building houses for needy families.  Students and faculty (last year seven) paint, work on roofs, hammer, shovel, landscape, climb ladders, build walls…

Experience is not necessary.

“For a lot of people it’s their first time building,” said Emily Savoca (’09), East Habitat co-president and coordinator of advocacy and communications.  “I learned how to install a door…that was pretty cool.”

The trip costs about 600 dollars, but the price can be reduced with fundraising.  Participating students must be 16 or older.

See Mr. Console, Ms. Rion or the following students for details.

Elizabeth Park and Brett Levine,
Co-Presidents and coordinators of trips
Alex Adler and Maddie Cattuna,
Co-President and coordinator of day builds
Emily Savoca and Kim Kline,
Co-Presidents and coordinators of advocy and communications
Zack Silverberg,
Co-President and coordinator of fundraising