Day 3:  Tuesday, January 10, 2017

“I like your chin!”

Being an education major with a “travel bug,” hearing of the opportunity to travel to Rochester, New York and work with children instantly made me excited for the trip. Here’s a look into my past two days…

Currently I am helping out in a 2nd grade classroom at Nazareth Elementary School.  I have been welcomed with many hugs and handshakes from the staff and students there.  The diversity in my classroom, and the school as a whole, is one of a kind.  Honestly it is one that I wish more schools had.  With Martin King Jr. Day coming up, the students have engaged in many activities surrounding him. Being in the classroom while the students learn about Martin King Jr. is priceless.  Seeing their expressions of confusion and sadness when they learn that several years ago they would not be sitting next to their friends of different color in a classroom is eye opening.  Hearing the students sing songs about how “Blacks” and “Whites” could not be together in a public place, all while they all the students hold and swing each other’s hands, makes me thankful for the change that is happening in our world today.  It’s these little things that make look forward to what the future holds.

Along with making me proud, the students at Nazareth Elementary School also have made me laugh.  Children say some of the funniest things.  I enclosed some of my highlights from the week below:

  • Students love to feel that they are on your, “good list.”  Because of this, they like to compliment you often.  While I was walking back from music with the students one day, a sweet girl said to me, “I like your dress Ms. Megan!”  I responded with thank-you, which opened the, “Gates of Compliments.”  Hearing this, another student complimented me saying, “I like your boots!”  Before I had the chance to say thank you to her, a 3rd student complimented my necklace and another my chin.  Yes, you read that right- my chin!  Maybe it’s a New York thing or I simply have a nice chin, but sweet Nariah will go down as the first person to ever compliment my chin.
  • Working with elementary aged students ensures that you will be given dozens of hugs.  This morning I received the greatest hug of all from a student who ran down the hall straight to my arms after expressing how excited she was to see me again.  You’re bound to have a great day after that.
  • Along with working in the 2nd grade classroom, I also spend 2 hours after the school hour working in the “Extended Care Program.”  There we interact with around 24, 3-7 year old students.  We play cars, house, trains, Legos, do puzzles, ect…  While I am playing with the students I like to ask them various questions.  These span from what their names are to what grade they are in.  One boy really liked me I guess and gave me his address, phone number, and WIFI password so we could have a playdate.  After breaking the news to him that I wouldn’t be able to make it, he responded that, “It wouldn’t be a long date and my mom doesn’t care.  Plus, I have guinea pigs!”
  • The Extended Care Program has many super adorable kids- all that love to hold your hand and give you hugs.  Today I was not only given a big hug by a 3 year-old boy, but also told he loves me.  How can that not melt your heart?!

I hope everyone who reads this will not only keep us in your prayers throughout the week and on our way home, (say a few extra prayers that we don’t have any train delays or maintenance issues like the trip here!!) but also all of the many people who call Rochester home.  From the young children I work with, to the elderly that Kirsten and Amanda visit, everyone here could use some love, well-wishes, and prayers.  Praying for one another is another way of service, and we can all hold our beautiful chins up knowing that we are making a difference.

 

~Megan Vander Lugt

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