Posted on Nov 29, 2005

Instead of catching up on sleep or selling back textbooks, Union College students are participating in an alternative winter break to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina.

For one week beginning Tuesday, 29 students out of the 110 who volunteered to participate will help rebuild schools that have been uninhabitable since the Gulf Coast hurricane.

The volunteers will paint, move furniture and help with clerical duties in an effort to restore Franklin High School, Lusher Elementary and Middle high schools in New Orleans. They were selected because Laura Eyman, a student at Union in Schenectady, N.Y., attended those schools while growing up in Zachary, La.

The district hopes to reopen the schools by Jan. 17.

Funding for the trip has been made possible through fundraising efforts, alumni donations and personal contributions made by students, their families and James Underwood, Union's interim president.