Honoring King through education, involvement

Honoring King through education, involvement

stanthonyparishioner-webCianie Yambo from St. Anthony School, Camden, speaks as a group of students tours the neighborhood to discuss community challenges.

CAMDEN — In celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 16, St. Anthony of Padua School held a day of community organization for 7th-12th graders in the church basement.

A total of 75 youngsters from various church youth groups in Camden and from outside the city participated.

In the morning, beginning at 10 a.m., the students discussed the difference between community organizing and community service. (Coordinators thought it was important to emphasize community organization and efforts to effect change.)

The students split into two groups to survey the neighborhood around St. Anthony. One group studied housing and the other at how trash is being cleaned up, although excessive trash still exists, they said.

The students returned to the church basement for a working lunch where they prepared research questions for three county and city officials who came to speak at 1 p.m. and to listen to what the youngsters had to say.

Freeholder Ian Leonard spoke on what is being done by the county to keep a lid on excessive trash, while Orlando Muñoz, director of sanitation for the city, and Iraida Afanador, director of code enforcement, explained what the city is doing.

Among the questions asked were why housing conditions and the trash problems are the way they are and what’s being done to eradicate them.

Leonard promised to provide the youngsters with a cleaning schedule for the county parks.

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