Coastal Cleanup

Last weekend I attended a coastal cleanup at Far Rockaway Beach. When we got there, the beach was much cleaner than I expected it to be, and there were people swimming and surfing already. We were then briefed on the different types of trash; garbage, hard plastic, and recycling. Along with a small group of friends, I walked on the beach and sorted any trash I found. I was very surprised on how much trash there actually was, since the beach looked very clean from the boardwalk. After an hour of cleaning up, we regrouped and were able to enter two contests. The first was the weird trash contest (which was won by a broken skateboard), and the second was to guess how much trash we all collected. I was astonished that we collected over 150 lbs. of trash in that short of a time. Then we got free grilled cheese from a food truck as a thank you for our effort.

This coastal cleanup really opened my eyes to how much trash there is on beaches, and how that can effect the life in the ocean. I had a very good experience and hope to continue to volunteer in coastal cleanups.

Michael’s Experience with Pier40Baseball

Link

Over the summer, I worked for a non-profit called Pier40Baseball. Pier40Baseball is a program of P3, the Pier, Park, and Playground association, whose goal is to promote the construction of new baseball fields in the lower-Manhattan area of New York City by getting more kids to play baseball. At Pier40Baseball, children ages 5-14 receive hitting as well as position-specific instruction in order improve their overall baseball skills. Personally, I helped the younger children improve their hitting skills by feeding them balls on a tee and giving them instruction on how to better their baseball swing. In addition to this, I hit them balls in order to enhance their baseball fielding skills, and I led them in various stretches and warm-ups. I really enjoyed my time at Pier40Baseball, and I enjoyed to see young kids blossom as baseball players, as I too play baseball.

Link to Website: https://www.hudsonriverpark.org/explore-the-park/activities/baseball

 

Arya’s Summer Service with CHAI

Over the summer, I was able to start a SHSAT tutoring program through the Hyolomo Youth Club, an organization in Queens that organizes events for first-generation Nepalese children. Through the month of August into the beginning of September, I tutored 3 8th graders in preparation for the SHSAT exam, which is an exam that places students who score high enough into one of the specialized public schools in New York City.

As the leader of this program, I created lesson plans that I carried out in our classes. During my time tutoring Edward, Tserring, and Sonam, I was responsible for creating homework assignments, completing lesson plans, planning class activities, grading their work, and proctoring practice tests. During the month, we worked through several SHSAT prep-books and I was able to teach them the structure, strategies, and material (English Language Arts & Math) that they need to know for the SHSAT, which they will be taking in October.

Although I was able to help them improve their score and get them to a score that would allow them to go to a specialized high school,  I also learned and grew. Through teaching them topics that they sometimes struggled with, I learned important skills of organization, patience, time-management, and how to give constructive criticism. Additionally, it was incredibly rewarding to get to see how much they learned and improved, and I was fortunate enough to form strong relationships with all three of them. Their gratitude and ability to stay positive and have fun were inspiring to me, and left me excited to continue to help them prepare for this test on the coming Saturdays.

Arya

 

Working at Go

This summer, I worked for a non profit called Go Project. Go Project is a nonprofit that works on helping kids all the way from K to over 5th grade catch up in grade level. Instead of summer school, they can learn over the summer in a fun and inclusive learning environment. My job was helping in teaching sports. Sports was one of the enrichment activities, meaning one of the activities that the kids took part in from 2-5 after finishing their academic classes for the day. The kids enjoyed playing sports and various activities like Soccer and Dodgeball a great deal. They got to take part in extracurricular activities like music, art, and more after they finished their academic work.  This experience was very rewarding for the kids and for me. Not only did it help the kids have a fun time, but it also helped them improve athletically and learn about various sports that they did not know about. It gave them a chance to grow and explore their interests with extra curricular activities after their classes were done. It also helped me grow as a teacher. I hope others will work for Go Project and helping the kids continue to excel in school and have a great time too. The opportunity was very eye opening and rewarding too. Go Project was a great opportunity that I recommend for people to take part in over the summer or even during the school year if they have the time. It accommodates people of all ages and helps them improve and grow both as people and as students. Some of the kid’s attitudes towards learning also changed where some of them were discouraged, but after entering into this welcoming and warming opportunity, they started loving to learn. You can access the site here (http://www.goprojectnyc.org).

 

Summer Service Reflection

over the summer I had the privelege of doing a lot of service. For the first 2 weeks of summer, I worked as the healthcare outreach intern. I was able to work with different hospitals, healthcare providers and pharmacies to spread the different programs the organization offers for Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers and diseases.  I received hundreds of emails that were difficult for me to answer, but over time I got the hang of it. It was very interesting to see the back end of organizations. For the next two weeks I worked in the Galapagos doing nature conservation with a program called GLA. It was amazing to work in such a different atmosphere and see the complete work you’re doing. Seeing the change Day to day. When I came back I went back to work at CaringKind and organized an event with a hospital that was a conference for Alzheimer’s research. I attended the event and it was very interesting to interact with real professionals.   I also started an entire pharmacist outreach program.

Service Trip

This summer I went on a service  trip to Ghana through the GLA (Global Leadership Adventures) organization. I spent two weeks there doing a variety of different activities and service projects. Everyday we would spend the majority of our time focusing on improving the english skills of the local children. I personally worked with kids entering the 3rd and 4th grade. The topics we taught ranged from spelling games to basic lessons. During my time there I also got to learn a great deal about the rich culture of Ghana. From the history of music to past traditions. Being able to go on this trip was amazing and the children there were some of the happiest people I have met.

Jack’s Experience at Cornell Cooperative Extension

This summer, I spent five weeks working as a teacher’s assistant at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Southold, New York. I’ve spent many summers working at this location, and this summer was the most time I’ve spent there. I worked under Mark Cappellino, educating young local children about the marine ecosystems that surround their homes and schools. The children are always fully engaged in learning about the various animals that inhabit Peconic Bay – they especially love to observe the huge horseshoe crabs and minuscule seahorses. Their favorite activity is to drag a seine net through the water off the beach to see what kind of animals they can catch. Another successful summer at Cornell Cooperative Extension!

Summer Service In Portland, Oregon

This summer, I went on a service trip to Portland with some of my close friends.  We volunteered our time to Habitat for Humanity and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the City of Portland.  Habitat for Humanity is a Not-for-Profit organization that partners with people in local communities to help them build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.  The Boys and Girls Club of America and all their local branches, enable young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens by providing club experiences that promote positive and productive behavior which demonstrates good character and citizenship to help all children live a healthy lifestyle.

Our first day was spent at Habitat for Humanity.  We helped on a project to build a neighborhood where the average mortgage payment would be around $800.  The project is an effort to reward low income hard working families with affordable housing.  We spent the day moving wood and dirt in order to clear a building site in order for construction to begin.  Despite contrary belief, Habitat for Humanity houses are in fact very nice.  Most of the homes in our project were very spacious and had multiple floors, a basement, and more than three bedrooms.

The rest of our time in Portland was spent working with the Boys and Girls Club of the City of Portland. We volunteered at their summer camp acting as camp counselors for boys and girls aged anywhere from 5 to 13.  The Boys and Girls Club mission is to provide a low-cost summer camp to keep both teens and younger children occupied during the day so that they are not left alone while their parents are at work.  We ended our time at the Boys and Girls Club by hosting a carnival for the kids.   It was extremely empowering to see that our volunteer efforts made all of the children very happy and made a difference for their summer and in their lives.

Teaching in Thailand

This summer I was given the opportunity through a service learning program to go to northern Thailand for three weeks to teach english to students at an elementary school. I got to study how to be a teacher and get first hand experience teaching the kids. I got to design lesson plans and come up with ways to excite my beautiful students about the english language. I taught kids from ages eight to ten for 14 days at a local school in Chiang Mai. Although there was a huge language barrier it was amazing to see different ways we got to connect with the kids through dancing and singing. They were enthusiastic, respectful, and eager to learn. The Thai school struggle to teach their kids english because of the lack of teachers that speak it. Most of the kids had only learned english from textbooks and had never heard anyone really speak it. I met incredible people and kids that I hope to one day see again. After working at theschool we began work at a local children’s home where we poured cement and removed rust from the kids playground. This work proved difficult in the Thai heat but we all had so much fun and it was amazing to see the final product. We got to play with the kids once they got home from school and the little girls would braid and weave flowers into our hair while we played games like tag and duck duck goose. These kids were so welcoming and kind which I found was a overwhelming theme throughout all of Thailand. The culture is so different than anything I had ever experienced and I was so luck to be able to learn from them as they learned from us.