It was a beautiful spring day as Mott Hall V made the trek from their school in the Bronx to the Trinity Wall Street offices in lower Manhattan. For four months, Mott Hall’s 8th grade students have been exchanging letters with an enthusiastic group of volunteers from Trinity Wall Street centered around the book, Waiting for Normal by Leslie O’Connor.
As students and volunteers got to know each other better over pizza, juice and cookies, the buzz of conversation filled the air. Fully prepared, there were even ‘conversation starter’ cards at each seat, covering topics from ‘would you want to be a celebrity’ to ‘how would you solve the problem of homelessness,’ and the students were on top of them all with some perceptive and creative responses.
Lunch was quickly finished as the day’s main activity was announced: a scavenger hunt in the historic Trinity Churchyard! A brief history of the grounds was given – as the students learned, it is the burial place of notable historic figures, such as Alexander Hamilton and, perhaps lesser known, Robert Fulton. After glancing over the scavenger hunt clues, it was clear that all would be getting a bit of a history lesson along with the game. Eager to get started, our Book Buddies were quickly out the door and over the bridge to begin their hunt.
It was quite the scene as our volunteers and students overtook the popular tourist destination with pen and clue list in hand. From gates to statues to gravestones, a competitive spirit took over as the teams rushed from one end of the yard to the other. It was a race to the finish as the top 10 pairs received a special prize for their efforts. Of course, all involved still were able to take home memories of a fun and unique experience, as well as a homework assignment – there is still a book to be finished and one more letter to write!
Special thanks to Trinity Wall Street, Mott Hall V teachers and students, and Learning Leaders for a wonderful day not soon to be forgotten!