AmeriCorps Project CHANGE were part of a special excursion day at Kemp Mills Elementary today where, led by member Diane Rubio, the team accompanied the Grade 4 and 5 classes to the University of Maryland, on a science adventure. The kids were all so excited, after months of anticipation and so were the team, after months of planning by Diana and the Kemp Mills staff.
The kids first went to the Observatory, to view the sun through the large telescope, and learned about the planets and constellations. Then they they took a campus tour, and visited the wind tunnel. One of the kids said at the end of the visit that he started the day thinking that he wanted to grow up to play soccer, but after the wind tunnel, he told the professor of engineering, “I’ve changed my mind. I want to do whatever you are doing, so that I can have as much fun as you have, and be paid for it.”
Thanks to the Kemp Mills kids who were so well behaved, and thanks to their teachers and parents and staff for allowing the day to happen, and the hosts at University of Maryland. And a special BIG shout out to Diana Rubio whose idea it was, and the AmeriCorps Project CHANGE team who were the support team on the day.
What Project CHANGE members are about is to enhance the students’ experience as learners, at school and beyond. Our stated performance measure ED27A has the formidable label “academic engagement- attitudes” but learning is much more than an academic affair. It is not confined to the classroom or dependent solely on any one teacher’s lessons. Life continues to teach all of us in the various situations and relationships we have to negotiate and resolve, no matter where we are, no matter who we are.
In the professional world, the latest trend is for managers to have life and career coaches. We have stolen that idea and apply it to our members, training them to act in the capacity of what we call Learning Coaches. (LC) What is an LC? It is someone who radiates to kids a sense of excitement and engagement, someone who models resilience and displays empathy, and someone whose confidence is infectious. AmeriCorps LC’s work with an unshakable conviction that every student can become a successful learner, not just for school but for life.
The excursion to University of Maryland exemplifies that belief.