Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Robot

These past few weeks my object has been to find ways to have information all across town about our Amachi program. Last week I connected with the park service to seek permission to have brochure holders with information at all the local community centers (I think about thirty). They are at every corner of town so I have been busy mapquesting all of the sites and I am excited to finish that endeavor. I keep thinking of new places to visit. It is fun how my mentality has changed. I will be watching a movie and realize that child on screen needs a mentor. (the movie is FICTION, Rachel). Or I will be passing a clinic or other important part of a community and wonder if they know about Big Brothers Big Sisters. That is what passion does, take over.

Growing up I knew that children experienced a lot of pain and trauma because my mother was a social worker, but my childhood was pretty carefree. I remember getting together for girl scouts and children telling me “I wish that your mom was my mom,” and that shocked me. My safety was never jeopardized, I always had food to eat and a lot of love. This past year when families open up and honestly give us a glimpse into their lives a lot of pain and struggle come across.

Every once in awhile we receive letters from the inmates about their hopes for their children and what they think about their children receiving a mentor. A father talked about his children and how they are so smart and how he lives for them. He also wrote about how his daughter was taken away for a little while because the child’s mother and he were using drugs. That is overwhelming to me. I feel fortunate to be having this experience because if I go back into the education field I will have a better understanding than many educators of the variety of experiences that can constitute childhood. The epitome of childhood is having the freedom to be a kid and at Kids Club there are definitely those opportunities. Kids Club was this past weekend and was a blast. Music City Soul came out to perform and instruct. They did break dancing…but even more than that. They even had the adults doing the robot and an Egyptian pose. I really appreciate the ability of staff to find some great groups to come in. Sara, a coworker who helps me plan the activities tracked this group down and we have been utilizing their skills a great deal. One of the performers Ronald has had some neat life experiences and articulates himself in a great way to the children. He was talking about the fact that if we have skills, in athletics, in school, etc. that is one thing that, “No one can ever take away from us, no matter what happens.” He asked the children about their talents and they beamed with pride.

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