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Trading Places Opens Students’ Eyes to Poverty During Brutal Week of Winter

Trading Places Opens Students’ Eyes to Poverty During Brutal Week of Winter
Students return from semester break early to participate in Trading Places, an intense, weeklong poverty simulation.

In January, 16 students participated in Trading Places, an intense, weeklong poverty simulation that included spending plenty of time outdoors in frigid winter weather.

The students began the experience by sleeping outside until their cardboard-and-tarp shelters collapsed under the weight of wind and snow, and project leader Patricia Vaccaro, director of the Center for Service and Social Justice, told them to head indoors.

Daylight hours were spent completing a “scavenger list” of items — such as using public transportation and visiting the welfare office. They also hunted for places to stay warm and eat, such as St. Peter’s Cathedral on Wyoming Avenue, where they attended Mass, and the St. Francis of Assisi Soup Kitchen, where they ate.

In addition to the simulation exercises, the program also included reflection and service. The students cooked meals for Scranton’s Community Intervention Center and revisited the St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen as volunteer servers.

Read the full article here.

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