About 200 students, parents and teachers from The King's Academy in Sunnyvale are packing their bags, tools and materials Saturday for a week-long service project with the goal of building eight houses for homeless families outside of Tijuana, Mexico.
School officials said this year's trip, the fifth annual, will teach high school students how to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people less fortunate than themselves.
"The King's Academy hopes to instill in our students a serving mentality that will motivate them to give of their time and talents at home, school, work and the world that we live in to make a difference in this generation," said Jack McBirney, principal at The King's Academy.
During the week in Mexico, students are placed in construction teams which build homes from the ground up. Los Altos resident and senior Ian Lewis will be going to Mexico for the third time with King's. "Last year, I worked with my brother breaking apart rocks in an outhouse hole," he said. "It was rewarding because we worked so hard and had a sense of accomplishment when we finished."
In addition to construction, students enrolled in Spanish III and IV are busy conducting Kids' Club, an afternoon event for the Mexican children to play games and sports, to do crafts and to learn the purpose behind our service: to bring glory to Jesus Christ and, in turn, to serve others.
"Through the Kids' Club, I was able to meet four girls who visited me every day. Even though I didn't speak Spanish fluently, we could understand each other and build a relationship through our body gestures and vocal tones," said Michelle DeBerry, a senior at King's and a Los Altos resident.
The King's Academy is a non-denominational Christian middle and senior high school in Sunnyvale. It was founded in 1991 with 29 students and has grown to almost 400 students this year. For more information, call Lisa Spangenberg, public relations director, at (408) 481-9900.