Mount Airy City Schools students are wrapping up a two-week summer camp on citizenship, and one family highlighted the camp on a special trip to Charlotte.
Global Institute Camp, held at Mount Airy High School, is structured to allow students to explore the meaning of being a global citizen by exploring various community challenges, according to Carrie Venable, MACS public information officer.
During the camp, students find a challenge they are passionate about, develop a plan addressing the issue, and connect with a school in China to solve this problem in a global setting.
In a fitting bit of serendipity, one of the participants and her mother finished up their requirements for citizenship recently. On the second day of camp, students accompanied Valeria Jakab and her mom Luisa to Charlotte as they took the oath of allegiance.
Getting citizenship for both family members was an 11-year process, noted Venable.
The final step is the oath and naturalization ceremony. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has a Charlotte field office on Tyvola Drive to handle such occasions.
“Students were able to experience the workings of the Department of Homeland Security as well as by witnessing a moving, hour-long ceremony,” said Venable.
Sixty-nine individuals from 38 countries were given their citizenship during the ceremony. It was evident by visitors from Mount Airy High School that those receiving their citizenship were passionate about becoming Americans, including Conni Tucker, a high school English teacher who is leading the camp.
“As I listened to the new citizens proudly — and loudly — sing the Star Spangled Banner, I reflected on how often I mumble the words of our national anthem on the 4th of July or before a football game without even thinking about what those words mean,” said Tucker.
“It made me stop and think about how frequently I take my American citizenship for granted and how much more grateful I should be.”
Mount Airy City Schools is wrapping up several camps with a Kids International Market on today.
This event will last from 1-2 p.m. in the Commons Area at Mount Airy High School.
Students from from the summer camps will join forces at the market, where they will have the opportunity to show off their crafts, posters, pictures and creations for visitors to see.
There will be students from Clowning Arts Camp, Lemonade Smiles, Cupcake Factory, Passport to Understanding (China, India, and Africa camps), as well as students from the Global Ambassador Institute.
Visitors can enjoy free lemonade and free cupcakes while they enjoy student performances and other cultures. Students will be taking donations that will go toward the Hungry Backpack programs on each campus.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.