Sunday, June 15, 2014

Last AmeriMonth...

One. More. Month.

I honestly can't believe how fast these past two years have flown! I'm officially in my final month of AmeriCorps! With school out and all of my students off enjoying their summer break, I'll be spending the next few weeks assisting with a summer camp through one of the other AmeriCorps sites, In The Pines. This site works with migrant workers and their families to help them learn English, find jobs, and adjust to life in South Florida. The camp that I'm assisting with is for the children of these families and helps them keep up with their reading levels, maintain sharp math skills, and gives them an opportunity to get out of the house and interact with their peers.

I'm in charge of the 8th grade class and, with one week in the books, am absolutely loving it! I have 5 campers and they're an absolute joy to work with! I share a classroom with the 7th graders and have inadvertently adopted them into my class as well. Two of the highlights of the camp that we are working towards is a spelling bee and a poetry contest. Trying to find fun and entertaining ways to introduce spelling words to Junior High students is a bit of a challenge, but thanks to Pinterest and the wonder that is the Internet, I've put together some pretty fun ways to help my students learn their words prior to the competition.

Some of my summer camp students using letters to spell out words that will be a part of the spelling bee
The "I Am" poem example that I created for my students to use as a sample
So outside of the academic aspect of this camp, the rest of our time is spent doing normal day camp activities: swimming, bowling, golfing, going to the movies, learning some karate, etc. It definitely brings back my days as a camp counselor with Camp Adventure. It makes me miss traveling during the summers to various military bases and working with those kids. However, I know that in a very short two months, I'll be off on another life changing adventure.

Karate time!
Bowling fun!
Speaking of life changing adventures....

The last month of AmeriCorps also means the start of the goodbyes and tears for those that I've grown to know and love during my time down here in Florida. These festivities started last weekend with Jen, a member from last year who is currently teaching here in Boynton, but will be spending her summer in New York. Phetsada, Jen, and I went out for some dinner and drinks last Saturday and had a great time reliving our crazy AmeriYear and sharing what life could possibly hold for us in the future! Have a great summer in NY Jen!

Myself, Jen, and Phetsada at Bar Louie for St. Patrick's Day 2013 
Alter Ego Party!! 
Hockey Game @ BB&T Center
N2 Wine Bar aka "Heaven"
Yesterday marked the last day in South Florida for another one of the people that I met last year in AmeriCorps, Tavia. She is embarking on a 15 day cross-country road trip back to Oregon before heading to Colorado State to start grad school in August. I'm super pumped for her and am excited to see where life will take her in the upcoming years. She had a going away pool party yesterday and it was great to just hang out with her.
Phetsada's Beach Birthday Party!
Color Run 2012! (Before the race)
That infamous camping trip!
St. Patrick's Day 2013
Neon Vibe Run in Ft. Lauderdale
One last day at the pool!