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Out in the Cold – Interview with Mr. Alton

Our Science and Math MYP Teacher, Mr. Alton, bravely volunteered again to participate in the “Out in the Cold” 360 Kids experience. This time he was joined by more of our amazing Richland Academy Staff. We are proud of them for raising awareness about youth experiencing homelessness. We are also proud of the Richland families for coming together and raising funds to help support this amazing organization – 360 Kids. As of Friday morning, we have raised over $8,000!!! Thank you all for the donations. You are all amazing! If you would like to donate online, please use this link:

    Today, I wanted to post a blog from the perspective of a student who sees adults model the beauty of volunteer work and solidarity. I asked Zareen to interview Mr. Alton before he heads out to partake in this experience and then reflect on what she thought about his action to help our community.

The following interview was created by Zareen a few days before Mr. Alton participated in the 360Kids experience:

Hello Richland Families,

I hope you are having an exciting week because we surely are!

On February 29th, 2024 Mr. Alton is going to participate for the second time in the 360 Kids Out in The Cold Experience. There are also going to be some new exciting guests this year – Ms. James, Mr. Rafael, Ms. Kraft, and Madame Sherman are joining Mr. Alton and partaking in this experience.

Since it is Mr. Alton’s second time partaking in this experience I asked him questions about homelessness and his Out in the Cold experience and this is what he said:

How do you feel about this being your second time partaking in this experience?
I feel more prepared because I did not know what to expect the first time. But now I know what is going to happen and what to expect. I am also happy that there is no snow this time.

What is your hope to see happen to the homeless community?
My hope is that the people who are in charge of this country could also help them more than they already do.

How do you feel about the kids that are experiencing homelessness?
I think that they are really brave, for example when they ask for help. They have faced more in 20 years than we have in our whole life. I also think they are AWESOME.

What does being homeless for the night mean to you?
It is a chance for me to be in another person’s shoes and experience what they go through at night.

What action are you planning to take in the future?
I will donate time and volunteer to support the people experiencing homelessness.

From this whole experience, I learned that being homeless is not a fair thing and that is super hard, especially for the youth. Whatever Mr. Alton and the other teachers are doing is an amazing thing. It is amazing how they can stay so strong. When I was interviewing Mr. Alton I noticed that it was hard for him to talk about it, and I totally understand that because I could not imagine talking about that even if it was only for the night. 

Something that really surprised me in the interview was when Mr. Alton said I think that they are really brave, for example when they ask for help. They have faced more in 20 years than we have in our whole life. Those two sentences were the most powerful sentences I have ever heard in my life. I am very proud of someone for saying that. The part that will stick with me the most after this whole experience is the reason why he is doing this again. This is because I could not imagine myself doing that for the night and it is amazing that he is willing to do this for a second time. It is amazing that more teachers are willing to participate in this experience and that is the most beautiful thing.

– Grade 7 class (2023-2024)

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