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Boston College students take break at Holy Family

Boston College senior Kim McDonagh reads with Holy Family Catholic School kindergartener Erik Hutchins while volunteering with other BC students for the week. Every year, BC students come to Holy Family over their spring break to volunteer and donate school supplies from money that the students raised prior to their trip. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Boston College senior Kim McDonagh reads with Holy Family Catholic School kindergartener Erik Hutchins while volunteering with other BC students for the week. Every year, BC students come to Holy Family over their spring break to volunteer and donate school supplies from money that the students raised prior to their trip. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — The 20 Boston College students performed several tasks for the school after traveling by bus to Holy Family as part of the college’s annual service trip.

“They will do anything we ask them to do,” Sister Bernadette McNamara said, who is the school’s financial director. “They will paint, clean and power wash buildings, but their favorite thing is to work with the children.”

McNamara said the majority of the students are education majors who got the opportunity to teach Holy Family students this week during their visit.

Boston College senior Nick Freehling, a secondary education major, has now visited Holy Family for the last three years.

“What makes this trip special is that I started to see right away that Holy Family is a family,” Freehling said. “Everyone is working together to provide the best education possible.”

Freehling said after being one of the few men on the trip, he and his fellow schoolmates ended up doing most of the recycling, trash disposal and painting.

Boston College senior Megan Doeg is currently on her fourth trip to Holy Family — but mostly because she can’t get enough of helping McNamara.

“The Holy Family School is such an amazing place,” Deog said. “The kids and teachers are just full of love, and (McNamara) is such a blessing. I don’t know what I would do with my spring break if I could not come here.”

Doeg said she and her peers cleaned every toy in the school, organized classrooms, decorated boards, purchased school supplies and tutored several students.

Among the 20 Boston College students, sophomore John Hanron and juniors Natalie Brock, Amanda Dames and Ryan Poor visited Holy Family during the college’s annual service trip for the first time.

Boston College sophomore Andrew Craig is currently on his second trip to Holy Family.

Brock said spending one-on-one time with the Holy Family students made her grateful for the choice to major in elementary education.

“I think that the emphasis on early education is so important, such as preparing kids going into elementary school,” Brock said. “I really like seeing what the kids can do in their classrooms.”

Even though Hanron is a secondary education major, he was impressed with the development showcased by young Holy Family students.

“I did not know what smart was for a four-year-old until I came to Holy Family,” Hanron said.