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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Optimists sponsor field trip

Monday, January 12, 2004

Jenny Menser of the Cumberland Academy passes out photos of her students on a field trip that was paid for by the Clay County Optimists club.

Cumberland Academy teacher Jenny Menser thanked the Clay County Optimists Club Saturday morning for sponsoring her class's field trip to Indianapolis.

Menser teaches junior high students at the Cumberland Academy and coaches the 7th grade girl's basketball team at North Clay Middle School. She planned a class field trip only to discover that most of her students could not afford to go on the trip so, the Optimists Club donated money which allowed all of the students to attend.

One of the stops was White River Gardens. Menser had chosen the location because her class contributed to the landscaping outside of the school.

"It's amazing what they're like when they get out of their environment. They get excited about the smallest things," Menser said.

She learned in a literacy course at Indiana State University, where she is working on her masters, that some kids don't have reading materials in their homes. To test her new-found knowledge, Menser gave her students a survey and discovered that two out of nine of her students only had three books at home. They also didn't have any newspapers or magazines.

Since most of the kids didn't have any reading material at home another stop on the trip was at a bookstore where the kids picked-out books with Menser's screening. The class is now reading and writing about the books they chose.

"They all picked-out great books," she says.

Menser ended her speech by passing around a stack of thank you's that the students had written to the club.

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