Archive | October, 2011

It’s November at the LeMoyne

31 Oct

We have finished our first month of programming at the LeMoyne Center. Overall, we are really happy with the program. With any new program there is a learning curve and we are working to make adjustments as needed.

This week the youth will learn about
– The Day of the Dead – Hispanic Holiday
– Sportsmanship
– Cookie Monster’s Birthday
– National Sandwich Day
– King Tut and Mummification

Check back for photos and comments!!

Pasta Pasta Pasta!

26 Oct

In celebration of World Pasta Day the students learned about different types of pasta and the older children worked together to create Pasta Art. The little kids colored spaghetti coloring sheets and made pasta necklaces. We brought Italy to the LeMoyne!!

New Zealand Wins!

25 Oct

On Monday at the LeMoyne the students learned about United Nations Day. In honor of this day we planned a LeMoyne Center Olympics. The students broke up into 4 teams– New Zealand, USA, China and South Africa and competed in a series of “Olympic” events, which included, crab walking, wheel barrowing, hula-hooping, hurdling, sprinting, bear crawling and more! The teams had a blast and got along great!! Congrats to New Zealand on their win!!

More Photo Fun!

24 Oct

Week 4 at the LeMoyne

24 Oct

Today begins Week 4 for the Homework and More Program and we are looking forward to learning about the following:

Monday- United Nations Day
Tuesday- Learning about Personality through Pasta
Wednesday- Domestic Violence Awareness– Cyberbullying
Thursday- Navy Day– Understanding Sailboats
Friday- Happy Halloween Birthday Party

Check back for all the FUN details!!!


24 Oct

Volunteering at the LeMoyne has inspired an already burning desire to create my own community Outreach Center for students back in my hometown. Every time I help a student I get this feeling of accomplishment that runs through my body. I have enjoyed every moment of volunteer time spent at the LeMoyne Center. The students there are smart and have lots of talent, just haven’t found it yet. That’s what we’re there for!

A Big Sister, a Role Model, a Friend

24 Oct

I love being a Big Sister. Every time I see my Little Sister, which is once a week through the Big Brother Big Sister program, she greets me with a big smile on her face and asks sarcastically, “Are we going to do a craft today since  you loveeee doing crafts with me?” I’d do anything for her, even draw and cut out pumpkins while enduring my 10 year old Little Sister’s playful teasing at my artwork.

I won’t be able to change her home-life, or the environment she has grown up in. I won’t be able to make sure she gets on the bus every morning, or be there every time she is upset or needs a hug. But once every week, I get to see her smiling up at me, and I’m smiling right back. I may not make a difference in her entire life, but I know I’m making a difference in those moments, from when I go to her classroom to excuse her for the hour, or walk her to the line of 4th graders waiting for the bus that will take them home. I know that in these short times, I am making her happy, I’m showing her I care, and I’m showing her that I believe in her.

We refer to each other as sisters. I signed up for this program with the intentions of influencing a child’s life in a positive and effective way, and as cliche as this will sound, I didn’t realize she would influence mine to the extent that she has. She shows such positivity and strength for a little girl that has grown up in a broken home and tough environment. She is amazing. She’s resilient. She is my sister. She has changed my outlook on unfortunate situations that occur in my life, and to allow me to count my blessings.

This is why I do AmeriCorps. I know I’m making a difference, no matter how big or small. But my main goal? I want to show these kids and whomever I work with, that they are making a difference too. That they mean the world to someone. Now that’s making a difference in my eyes.



Familiar Faces

22 Oct

In high school I attended a small school in an even smaller town, and as a result, I thought I had seen everything. I also took little things, such as food to eat and a bed to sleep in for granted. It wasn’t apparent how sheltered my life has been until I volunteered with Family Promise. I have volunteered with Family Promise twice now, about three weeks apart. Unfortunately for the them, the second time around it was the same families that I spent time with.

When I first arrived at the church, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but what I saw was way beyond my wildest imagination. The idea that some people are homeless was not foreign to me, but actually spending time with those people puts a whole new spin on things. It makes it a reality. You see firsthand how they struggle to make ends meet and how difficult it is to provide food, clothing and a roof for their children.

Being that I went to a small school, I know how people talk and how cruel kids can be. One of the families has been there for weeks, yes weeks, and consists of a mother and her two adolescent boys (ages 11 and 14). It was these two boys that I empathized with the most because I cannot imagine how embarrassed they are for people to know, let alone classmates, that they are homeless. They are old enough to know what is going on and will remember the time they spent in the Family Promise Program. I hope that they wish for a better lives for themselves and are strong enough to break this vicious cycle. I call it a vicious cycle because I occasionally sat with just the mothers and they told me stories about their past, which were remarkably similar their children’s’ current lives.

Another family consisted of just a mother, who is pregnant and due in November, and her 2 year old daughter and 18 month old son. One day, while I was sitting with the mothers, this mother opened up and told me how she ended up in the program, and the reason is because her husband was sent to prison. She was left homeless because she was unable to pay the rent without his help, and was thrown on the streets, babies and all. What is most saddening is the amount of effort that she puts in to better her children’s lives, always putting them first, but never able to get ahead.

I wish there was some other way I could help, but for now I will have to settle with simply spending my time with them and giving the children the attention they so desperately need. I grew attached to the families while volunteering with Family Promise, and as much as I hate to say it, they next time I go back; I hope they are not still there.


What I learned from a 5th grader…

21 Oct

The 4th-6th graders did a worksheet where they had to come up with as many words as they could from the phrase “Thomas Edison was a great inventor.” Most of the kids had a great time doing it, some of them were really competitive and worked really hard to see how many words they could come up with. It was exciting to see how happy they were just simply discovering a new word in the phrase. I was impressed by some of the words they came up with and came up with a few myself. When all was said and done there could only be one person with the most words. One girl was upset that she didn’t win and so I sat down and talked to her for a couple minutes. I myself am super competitive, so when I lose something, sometimes, I get upset too. Talking to this girl about losing and how it’s not the end of the world I kind of realized how big of a baby I can be when it comes to winning or losing a competition. Yes, life is a giant competition, but it’s not always about winning the game, it’s about learning from the experience.

What’s been your favorite day at the LeMoyne?

21 Oct

Let’s all post our favorite activity or favorite theme so far at the LeMoyne…

I will start! Mine is Egg Day!! Everyone was really involved, creative and enthusastic! Two groups were very successful with their design and all the groups took ownership over their product. Everyone was watching each other and provided the drum roll for effect. I am looking forward  to many more of these types of day.