Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Yesterday we started off the day by going to Nora Sterry Elementary School in inner city Los Angeles. We split up into small groups and began our projects for the week as we tried to better the schools playground area. Within these groups some painted, sandpapered wood, or knocked down an old wood fence. My group, The VanGoughs, started painting the word "Welcome" in many different languages as an entrance mural for the school.
After eating a brief lunch we moved to Palms Elementary School to assist them in their after school program. We enjoyed helping students with their homework, playing outside sports and talking with them and learning about their backgrounds. I connected with a young girl who wanted to play a different game. We got a huge group of students and volunteers together and played a big game of kickball. The students were so enthusiastic about the game and were commenting on how they have never played so long because it was never this fun. They all were so positive and happy to be playing. What I loved was the fact that they all had really great attitudes even though the team I was on was losing badly.
Other volunteers learned things from the elementary school students such as step dance moves and new games. After spending a few hours at the school we went to have another great dinner at Hillel where we had some yummy tacos. We also had a guest speaker who talked about public education in the state of California. We then broke into campus groups and the Michigan State students had a great discussion reflecting on our great experiences so far. We had a great time working with the kids and doing service and we cannot wait to finish our projects and play with the kids more this week!
-Taylor Lederman

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