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Hoosick Community Collaborates to Host Students from California School

There are many wonderful aspects about the Hoosick community, and one of the biggest is the deeply rooted sense of helping one another. With that said, it comes as no surprise that so many people and organizations were willing to help guests from California feel welcome and comfortable while staying in Hoosick Falls.

Students from Academia Avance in Los Angeles, California, traveled to Hoosick Falls as part of their senior project about communities impacted by water contamination. While in the region, they traveled to St. Regis Mohawk Nation in Canada and had other educational experiences including presenting at and attending the inaugural Taconic Mountain Student Water Conference at Bennington College.

Hosting the 47 students and chaperones from Los Angeles took a lot of coordination and volunteers, but that came easily to the Hoosick community, which is full of people who help others all of the time.

After arriving in Hoosick Falls, the students were given a tour of HFCS by Superintendent Facin and then headed to Immaculate Conception Church, who graciously offered their parish hall for sleeping quarters. Father Tom ensured that every detail was taken care of, from making sure there was heat if needed, to letting the group use the kitchen and St. Joseph room for meals.

Joyce Brewer was another major component, coordinating with HACA and area churches to provide a fantastic breakfast menu for the kids each morning. She also helped with getting toiletries and needed supplies. Thank you to our faith community for feeding and caring for these students.

Having a place to sleep and food to eat were just the first two things to arrange – but the students still needed bedding, and thanks to Al Bornt, Chief of the North Hoosick Fire Department, that need was met. The NHFD provided 47 cots for the students to sleep on, along with extra blankets to keep them warm.  Even though the department was in the middle setting up for their 70th Anniversary celebration activities, Al took the time to help out our visitors.

HFCS offered the gym for recreation, and also served as a shower facility for the students. Paul Baker was instrumental in getting the cots set up and returning them to the NHFD.

Also, special thanks to the Hampton Inn in Bennington, Vermont, for donating pillows.

Hoosick Falls Jr. / Sr. High School students connected to the Academia Avance students and immediately bonded. As a result, HFCS students invited Avance students to the after-prom activities.

Hoosick Falls CSD Superintendent Kenneth Facin said, “Making these students feel welcome was an excellent effort and showed a genuine sense of community, something Hoosick Falls excels at.”

As a way of saying ‘thank you’, the students prepared an authentic, home cooked Mexican meal for many of those who had helped make their stay safe and comfortable.