Today our entire school went on a field trip. Each advisory headed in a different direction. My 14 kids (grades 9-12) were assigned to Habitat for Humanity. After a 20-min bus ride across town, we received our instructions from a nice foreman named Pete. My first task was to organize a storage container. I enjoyed this work. Two girls joined me and we put everything where we thought it should go, threw away the trash, and swept the shelves and floor. While we took charge of this project, other students disassembled and moved a chain link fence. Later, we all painted sheds. At the end of the day, we were all tired and dirty.
Our school has participated in Global Youth Service Day for four years. This is the first year we earned 4 hours of service on GYSD. The first year, we went to Jackson Keller and read to first and second grade classes. In 2015, we went to a nursing home where we washed windows, played Bingo with the residents, and installed landscaping. Last year we went to the Animal Defense League, but there wasn’t very much for us to do–since we had not been trained, we could not walk the dogs, so they had us wash their company vehicles. Global Youth Service Day is an international effort to connect young people with volunteer opportunities in their own communities in April every year.
I would classify today’s work as volunteerism. I didn’t learn very much, but I contributed to a new house for the Reyes family (a single mom and her son). I would do this again, and hopefully the weather would be just as nice. I enjoyed working with my advisory and getting to know them better. One thing I always enjoy about volunteering with students is realizing how different someone’s work ethic can be outside the classroom.