We are sitting in front of Keating Steps without shoes….and socks.
It was time to take pictures and all were ready…but Evan.
He was not ready to pose for the camera and he promised himself he was not going to create a lasting memory in his school uniform.
He left the auditorium crying.
“My mom said she was going to bring me some clothes!”
No one could calm him down.
Then, mom came speeding. She arrived with his white button up and a bow tie.
He walked back into the auditorium, smiling. When he began to smile, everyone began to smile.
This pass Tuesday the children went to West Farms Library to see a magic show. They had high expectations…a little too high for the magicians. After seeing the first few tricks, Brianna yelled out: “How about doing some real magic? Pull a rabbit out of your hat!!”
This comment was ignored and since I was a bit far from her, I could not get her attention to tell her to stop yelling out.
Time passed and after a water trick (the magician ‘turned’ water red, however, the kids saw the Kool-Aid powder at the bottom of the cup) Brianna yelled out: how about turning your entire body green?!
This thought provoked everyone and before long, the entire body of teens and young children were chanting: TURN GREEN!! TURN GREEN!!
This made the magician stop the show to tell his audience that unfortunately, that was one trick he could not do. At these words the kids calmed down and the show continued.
Pretty Soon the kids next to me, turned to me and asked: Is this all of their tricks? I thought it was going to be a circus! They are not real…I had begun to feel like they wanted to leave. However, every time the magicians pulled a new trick out the hat, they had the children’s attention.
Seeing a magic show requires one to pay close attention to the act and quick thinking. While the children did not get all the acts, the ones that they did get made them feel powerful.
My supervisor, Heidi, gave me a handful of Pumpkins for my Literacy class. Each student was able to get one.
Before I handed the pumpkins out, I did a science project that I got off pinterest called pumpkin-cano.
They had so much fun that when it was time to play, most of them wanted to keep doing science.
During the summer camp, I taught different lessons at the center. One of them was a hands on math lesson. The kids had to build a tunnel together for differnt size balls and then test the tunnel by rolling the balls down. I gave them the masking tape, a bunch of balls and different size tubes. Then I sat down and watched them.
I never got tired watching them and they never got tried building and rebuilding.
Macho, the gardener’s grandson, in the garden. He was so happy that my class came to visit, that he offered to give us a tour!
During the tour of the garden every plant was just ‘a flower’ or just ‘grass’. He even stepped on some beds and told us to follow him, which lead to the gardener screaming.
The last straw for him was the story he created around the missing fish. Georgie had a tub of fish in the garden and when the kids asked what happened to the fish, he put his hand in the shape of a gun and said he killed them all. I thought that was a bit outrageous and consulted Georgie who told Macho to stop lying. Turns out the fish were in the apartment living a happy life!
Before we left I told Macho thank you and thought about the tour. It was the best tour ever and I am sure the Macho would agree.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to take the Mary Mitchell students to La Familia Verde Farmers’ Market on East Tremont Avenue between La Fontaine & Arthur Avenues.
Every Tuesday I would explain to them the purpose of the Farmers Market and why they were being given an opportunity to shop for their families. Then, I would take out a stack of health bucks and explain that it was worth two dollars ($2) each and was developed and distributed by the NYC Health Department and can be used to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at all farmers’ markets in NYC.
When we arrive at the market, they would line up and get ten dollars ($10) each worth of Health Bucks and be allowed to freely walk around the market to shop. Usually I would take between 12 and 16 students and make sure they stick with their partners. They would walk around the market with anxious looks on their faces eager to buy foods they normally would not buy from the bodega.
Occasionally they would express their sentiments in not being able to buy something sweet so I would make sure I had enough money to but one piece of cake or a bag of mini sweets from Kevin and share distribute it out fairly. However, most of the time, they would buy peaches and blue berries and eat it right away. I always had to stop them from eating what they brought afraid that they would get a stomach ache.
Before the summer ended the students joined the local farmers, the director of the Mary Mitchell Center, Heidi Hynes, Council Member Ritchie Torres and others at a press conference held at the market to voucher for Health Bucks.
Major concerns were addressed like the diabetes rate among the elderly and children, the Bronx being the last county in New York State (among 62 counties) to eat, serve, and be served healthy food, and the importance of increasing access to fruits and vegetables for low-income residents.