Our third group had to reschedule from our plans last week, due to tornado warnings and thunderstorms, so by the time we got there today, ShaZamm was ready to go. We were joined by the first-year journalism student who read about our project on the service learning sight, had contacted me and met with me about volunteering for the program. We welcomed her help, and her desire to be involved in this work over the course of the next few years of her education here. In the midst of all the kids playing, this young man was serious about mastering his math homework.
This group had wanted to leave something of themselves behind after our work was finished, and decided on a banner to remember us all. Everyone placed his or her handprint and name on the banner, and we hung it on the wall afterward.
It reminded me of the Abilene Peace and Justice Center, and how Si Kahn was the first to place his handprint and signature on our wall.
These kids have an amazing ability to focus, no matter what is going on around them. The social work students just jump right in, and make it work, no matter what is happening. (And today, things were "happening" that don't usually happen when we are there!)
A little work, a little play, all make the world go around.
They love it when someone does something with them one-on-one. After indoor activities, everyone went outside and played with bubbles, football, paddle ball, and some kind of mitt-ball catch, and they did not want to stop when it was way past our time to clean up and go home.
And, finally, I had to end with this picture. I just thought it personified everything we are trying to do here: look at the smile on this boy's face as he finishes his work. The students worked a lot, played a lot, and it was one more opportunity to be part of this community and these kids' lives. I got to visit with a couple of parents, and see some of the "graduates" of the program from several years ago. This group goes back next Monday, and I look forward to seeing what they have planned for then.
One last "shout out" for the evening: Stevie, we missed you and we love you.