Sunday, October 24, 2010

Americorps' Annual Pumpkin Festival

On a cloudy and potentially stormy Saturday, faithful Americorps members came together to set up the annual Pumpkin Festival events in J.W. Ray park across from the Roseland community. Families came to toss the bean bag through a hole, knock milk bottles down, get their face painted, karaoke, tour a haunted house, and eat hot dogs despite the on-again, off-again showers.

About two hours into the event, the storm couldn't be avoided. The wind picked up and the temperature dropped suddenly. As the tent set-ups began flying, Americorps members and community attendees went into action. Though several children and adults panicked and ran, Americorps members and even some children, quickly grabbed chairs, disassembled tents, moved tables, and picked up trash. Within 30 minutes, the park looked almost the same as before the event started.

As the rain subsided, some parents returned thinking we might continue the event inside. Unfortunately, we couldn't at that point. However, some Americorps members had the idea to continue the fun event in a fundraiser for the Education Department this Friday from 6:00-8:00 at our Teen University building. So, if you missed out and would like to join the fun, come visit us at 2101 N. Washington this Friday!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Kirk Franklin Visits Roseland

Let me admit something. I'm not big on celebrities. My goal is education for children. Oftentimes, I think celebrities detract from that. Most of the ones I've met made empty promises (that they never kept) and the events seemed to be more about them than it was about the kids/families who were there.

So, when we were told to gather people to cheer for Kirk Franklin when he arrived, I must admit, I didn't have a great attitude. I didn't see the purpose. Kirk Franklin gets to hear cheering every time he walks on stage.

As often happens in my life, I had to eat my words (and, trust me, I have enough friends in my life who relish in making sure that happens). Yes, there was cheering when Kirk Franklin got out of his car. But he didn't walk but a few steps before he starting humbly greeting each person he saw.

He then sat down to listen to us. Yes, I said listen. Though he did talk, it was more of reflective comments based on what we just said. He then stayed for another hour or more touring our After-School Academy, Discovery Garden, Head Start, Teen U, Library (the Freedom Room), and Connect U. He listened. He talked. He reflected. He hugged. He did interviews.

He was supposed to leave at 11:00 sharp! ...but, instead, he left around 11:30. He's the only performer I know who has toured our programs before performing at our A Night to Remember. He challenged my stereotype by being entirely genuine and real.

Come out on Monday, October 25 to the Meyerson to see him perform.

Friday, October 01, 2010

After-School programs...a day in the life

Yesterday our Americorps representative came by to check in our members. As I toured her around, I had to quickly grab the Flip to capture some great moments. Check out what the youth in our programs are doing...

...and then feel free to contact us for a tour! :)