Week One – SO Fun!

We had a very small but delightful group of students for the first week, and a terrific group of volunteers! Big thanks to Priyanka Botny, Valerie Ellington, Judy Carter, Bill Spece, Branden Tang, Kate Henson and Janaea Eads!

In addition to learning Blockus and Chess and Scrabble and math games…

IMG_9980…we also did some Reading Plus (so we get better and faster at reading comprehension) and Khan Academy (math!) on the computers. The students will be able to continue doing these at home all summer long if they want to. 🙂

We also learned how to roll up a hose on a reel and discovered it’s not as easy as it looks to wind it back up neatly.

IMG_9967We learned about Haiku and wrote a few of our own (see the one on radishes below!). We also learned a bit about Ireland (one of the volunteers, Kate, just returned from a semester abroad there and had lots of stories and photos). Another volunteer taught us some Tae Kwon Do and another one shared a bit of yoga and we also practiced multiplying by 12’s (walking backward). 🙂

We also continued to tend the garden that was started by the Coleman Garden Club. We identified a few things that were growing there (spinach, chard, peas, different lettuces, carrots, radishes and WEEDS).

There was more weed-pulling to do (which was MUCH easier after the big rain last night). There were more peas ready to harvest and taste, and we also had a bit of an adventure with a radish that got too big (and therefore too spicy!)..

We will definitely harvest a smaller one next time.  In fact, two students wrote Haiku poems about that radish:

First taste of radish
Tastes like a giant chili
I did not like it.

First taste of radish
Spicy, hot surprise it was
Next time, pick smaller

We also transplanted some basil and tomatoes the Coleman Garden Club had started in the spring. On the spur of the moment, a volunteer asked a couple of middle schoolers to make a “how-to” video as they planted the third tomato.

One of our favorite quotes from the week was from the student who said, “I really like coming here! It’s like…. we’re friends!”

One volunteer, who came every day, emailed to say, “I had no plans of coming to the summer program every day. I am very excited to learn from kids. I love the way Judith enjoys her sessions with kids and involves everyone in the group to participate in an activity and Joni’s enthusiasm in encouraging students and helping me to understand kids better. The kids are emerging rays of hope; what we couldn’t do in that age, they can do and we all can teach them. The best part is their eagerness to learn and unlearn. The volunteers that I work with are talented and put their 100% into their work. Talking about different cultures and food has been exciting. It allows me to be like a child too!”

We are deeply grateful to the volunteers who helped us this week:  What a great group! We’re VERY excited about Week Two. Stay tuned…

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