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CBHS ‘Teen Closet Sale’ To Help Finance Community Service Trip

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CBHS ‘Teen Closet Sale’ To Help Finance Community Service Trip
Posted on 02/24/2016
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Casco Bay High School juniors will hold a “Teen Closet Sale” on Saturday, Feb. 27, to help raise funds for their “Junior Journey,” a community-service trip to Detroit in April. While there, the students will work with a nonprofit organization to help revitalize blighted housing in that Michigan city.

The sale will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second floor of the high school, located at 196 Allen Avenue. The juniors have received plenty of donations of clothing for the sale, and now are seeking customers who want to avail themselves of some of the latest fashions and help the students in their quest.

The CBHS annual Junior Journey takes place from April 10-16 this year. The mission of the Junior Journey is to involve CBHS juniors in a one­week, cross-cultural learning experience that will expand students’ sense of their world and who they are through service and adventure learning.

In previous years, CBHS juniors have travelled to West Virginia, Mississippi and New York City to build or re­build homes in devastated areas while also telling the untold and inspirational stories of locals through oral histories and brief films. This year, the juniors of CBHS will be headed to Detroit to assist with blight removal and community development, as well as to document the stories of people living and thriving in Detroit.

Detroit, famous for its “Motown” music, fell on hard times and suffered dramatic population loss with the downturn of the American auto industry. But the city is experiencing a resurgence, which is why it was chosen for a Junior Journey.

Students have been preparing all school year for the trip. They have been examining current issues and a variety of approaches to effecting social and political change. For example, they have been conducting extensive research into the widening gap between rich and poor in this country. Each junior has had to craft and defend a public policy proposal addressing an economic, social, or environmental injustice related to this gap. The April trip will allow students an opportunity to explore these social issues, the impact of widening inequality in the United States, and to experience a new community firsthand, guided by the question, “How does a community sustain itself?”

While in Detroit, CBHS students will be working with Motor City Blight Busters, a community­based nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of Detroit. Blight Busters’ removes blighted and abandoned houses from Detroit and aims to construct new homes and businesses in the city. Students will work alongside Blight Busters’ staff and CBHS adult chaperones.

As part of the trip, students also will interview people living in Detroit, in order to unearth and reveal the stories that people of this significant city want told. Before departing for Detroit, students will examine the power of story to effect change, and they will be trained as teams of four in the documentary skills of interview, photography, video, and sound engineering. When they return to Maine, each team will write the oral history of the person they interviewed while also producing a short three-minute video capturing that person's story. Collectively, the video pieces will create one full-length film that they’ll showcase at a gallery in downtown Portland for the school community.

The goal is to shine a light on the people of Detroit and to highlight the richness, beauty, and resilience of this community.

Crews of students are each tasked with raising about $5,000 to support the cause and ensure that all students can participate, regardless of family income, said CBHS Principal Derek Pierce. He said that fundraising is in the final stretch, with about $40,000 raised of the $50,000 needed. UNUM has contributed $5,000 and parents also have made contributions, Pierce said.