Author: Jay (Counselor)
Today our programming was led by 2 different organizations. Kids Walk brought a fun and healthy nutrition portion, and Culture Shock led a hip hop class for our students. What a great way to start week 2!
As the kids were eating their breakfast, a few of them asked me, “Jay what are we doing today?” I told them that today was Health and Nutrition. A few were not even sure what that was and were already saying, “Oh man that sounds boring” while others were a little more open about it and just said “oh ok.” As we were all in the gym, Michelle came up to me to let me know that we were going to go into the classroom for the health and nutrition talk but the twist that the kids did not know was that they were going to have a dance class for the second hour.
As we were walking into the building, I kept on reminding the kids to wash their hands. Some were not too ecstatic about it, but I told them that if they wanted to eat, that they would have to wash their hands. When the instructor began to mix everything to make hummus, most of the kids and including some counselors were not that into what she was making. When it came time to have the kids try it, I could see it in their eyes that they really did not want to be there because they did not want to try the hummus. I walked up to one of our students, and asked him if he was going to try it with some pita bread. He gave me a blank stare and forcefully nodded his head yes. Some were just taking little bites enough to just bite the pita bread where it did not have any spread of hummus. When I looked up at this student again, to my surprise he was really enjoying it. I asked him if he liked it and he told me he did.
When it was time to make a face with the cantaloupe (like a Mr. Potato Head) they were more excited to help me make the face. I was having ideas all around as to what should be the eyes, how the ears should be, what the pieces of corn should be, and what their hair should look like. We ended putting a mohawk on our face. I was happy because they liked our cantaloupe, and we named it Kevin!
As we were making our way to the dance room, some students were not happy because they claimed that they couldn’t dance. As it came time to learn the steps, most of the kids were not really following instructions well. But this same student surprised me once again. He was in the second row and his friends were in the row behind him. I was able to tell that he really wanted to dance all the moves the teachers were showing them, but he was a little hesitant. He would do the steps and then he would look back at his friends as a way of confirming with them if it is ok for him to be fully participating. He did learn all the dance steps and he even was adding some extra moves of his own. And the funny thing was that his friends were not telling him anything or making fun of him because he was trying to do the steps correctly. He was a little shy about it at the beginning, but as the first couple of tries passed by, he got comfortable and that is where he started to dance, even if he was a little self-conscience. Looking back, he really made my day, because I was not expecting him to make the effort to cooperate that he did today.