Today, the goal of group members Jason and Jeffrey was to help out Mrs. Guerra, a first grade teacher, with some simple tasks. They created name tags for each student in the class and tied yarn to each tag so that the kids could wear them around their necks. Other group members Georgia, Sienna, and Gwen helped out kindergarteners in Mrs. Moore’s class by decorating her bulletin board to represent that class’ theme: Superheroes. They spent the entire morning coloring, cutting out, and stapling different shapes to arrange the board while including the names of each child in a creative way. Brock, another helper, looked after Mrs. Brooks’ first grade class while she was out of the room.
Meanwhile, Jasmine worked in Mrs. Buckley’s 4th grade classroom to organize and categorize books. She also colored in our group’s poster which thanked Pillow Elementary for having us. The poster was then passed around to all group members to sign and leave notes to the students. Mrs. Frenzel’s 3rd grade class got some help from group members Ava and Bell with decorating their Olympic board for the upcoming school wide track and field day. Today was a day of preparation, and our group did well working hard with the students to get them ready for tomorrow. At the end of the day, our group had a time of fellowship over lunch at Chili’s. We ask that you pray for our big day tomorrow and the continued strength for our group to finish off the week strong.
Today, one focus of some students today, Jared and Josh, was to help Mrs. Pearlman, a second grade teacher, do garden work. We were joined by an elderly couple who were familiar with the surrounding gardens in the campus and clearly very experienced in landscaping. Our goal was to prepare a small piece of mulch in front of the portables for future planting. First, we used forks to dig up the mulch while pulling out weeds and collecting them in bags to throw away. Next, we wheeled a wheelbarrow to a pile of dark mulch which we then filled the barrow with. We dumped the mulch onto the piece of land and worked to mix and even the soils together. This was hard work that took a while, but we enjoyed the fulfillment that came from helping the community and this older couple. Meanwhile, Brock had a special moment while comforting a first grader who got hurt while playing basketball. Brock said he managed to calm the kid down and in the process, got to talk with him and know him. Right after, Brock even sat with the kid and his class during lunch. Another special moment for group member James was when he reunited with a student he remembered from last year. The two, along with other kids, played a game of basketball. We ask that fellow students and teachers continue to pray for our willingness to serve and strengthen us to finish off the week strong.
Today at Pillow Elementary, the aim for group members Josh and Jared were to write and teach the first-grade class a new song for their upcoming school-wide performance on Friday. Another helper, Jilly, also spent time with the kids to teach them the lyrics and rhythm of the song. Group members Jason and Catherine helped Mrs. Rose to prepare for Friday’s performance by making costumes for the kids and decorating her bulletin board. They traced and cut out shapes of lightning bolts to represent superheroes, the class theme, and fruits and vegetables to represent the importance of maintaining a healthy diet. Meanwhile, group members Jasmine and Catherine worked one-on-one with other first graders, quizzing them on their reading skills and teaching them in the process. All of our helpers feel satisfied after a day of hard work with the kids, and they are excited to keep up the pace through the rest of the week. We ask that students or teachers in other groups continue to pray for our spirit to serve as we move on through the week.
On the first day at Pillow Elementary, our group split up into smaller groups of two or three people and each headed to different classrooms. Our main objective of the day was to meet the teachers and kids we would be working with for the rest of the week and start our teacher-assigned tasks. Group member Jared had the opportunity to meet the kids and also got to read short books about planets to a class of first graders. During that reading time, he let the children ask any questions they had about the book, and he got to know them better by introducing himself and talking with them. Other members like Jeffrey and Jason did not start out working with kids, but helped teachers organize school supplies. Group member Susie had a special moment while teaching a third grader how to write an essay.
Although Susie says she is not the best at writing, she enjoyed teaching the students the basics of writing an essay and some of the things she had learned from her own experiences at school. The first day at Pillow Elementary went well for our group, and we are excited for the week to come. We ask that you will pray for our continued strength in the coming week so that we can serve the students and teachers at Pillow Elementary with a willing and passionate heart.
As the week is concluding, we feel practically inseparable with the kids.
It has been a privilege this week to serve Pillow with my friends and I feel very thankful of this experience. I have been shown so much love by the children and truly feel very blessed.
Today we continued to decorate the halls in preparation of field day. Some students came up with class cheers that they will perform tomorrow. The Pillow students are practicing these cheers with much joy and can’t wait to show their peers.
In first grade we gave the students a spelling test and a math quiz. Jared, Josh, and I were also given timed math quizzes to take with the students. Jared and Josh both got one hundred percent, but sadly I couldn’t even come close to the first graders scores. ( With my failure I received hugs from every kid in that class and felt very encouraged)
During recess today, some Hyde Park students played another riveting basketball game, and played games with the kids.
We left Pillow ready for our next adventure which just so happened to be Chili’s. Everyone ordered food and we chowed down after our long day of work and play.
We are looking forward to field day tomorrow, but we are also sad that the week is coming to a close.
Although we’re halfway through the week, our hearts are already full of love. We came to serve the students, but we feel very spiritually filled by these kids.
We started the day with Ms. Polski’s “mudge” (mole-fudge) and the day just got better from there. Once we got to the school we were greeted with hugs and a cheer from the kids. We mainly worked on preparing for field day. This included: painting pictures of a giant raspberry, drawing pictures of yogurt cups, and decorating many bulletin boards. Some students spent most of their time cutting out about 1,500 “Panther Pesos” and other cut out unique and intricate paper kites.
In first grade, we helped the kids comprehend the factor families and practiced our song about raspberries about 10 times.
” My favorite part of today was cutting out over one hundred and fifty laminated papers.”
We left with hungry stomachs as we headed to Sonic for some snacks. I loved bonding with everyone at Sonic, and we are all very excited to return tomorrow.
The team and I are very excited as we are about to head into GO week. In our last meeting we discussed our jobs, duties, and went over our daily schedule. We’re looking forward to our fudge and sonic treat on Wednesday.
As a returner to Pillow, I am especially excited and hopeful to see the kids we worked with last year. We made such deep connections with them in the short amount of time we had there, and this is my hope for this year.
“I am most excited to spend time with friends, old and new! I’m so glad to serve Pillow Elementary and build relationships with the kiddos there.” -Jilly Nickens
We would love if you would pray for the children we are serving, and that God would give us opportunities to spread His love.