By: Lauren Lippert, Upsilon Chapter ’11
Monday, May 14, 2012
Today has been a day of firsts. It was the first day of Alternative Break Project 2012 and our first day meeting the students at KIPP Spirit. But most importantly, it was also the first day of an experience that will impact the lives of the Brothers working here in Houston.
Our day started off a tour of KIPP Spirit, lead by two students, or KIPPsters. We were given the chance to see the school, watch the teachers interact with the students, and learn about the ideals that KIPP Spirit holds dear. Brothers then were split up among different classrooms and we were able to interact with students by answering their questions about college while other Brothers helped out teachers by organizing their rooms. After our classroom experience, we were able to join the students during lunch and were introduced to the school in a very traditional KIPP fashion, being loud and proud. The students treated us to some of their chants and were very enthusiastic about asking even more questions. By the end of the day, we were able to start work on our mini Trading Spaces project for the week, which is the revamping of a grade level’s College Corner. This finished up our first day at KIPP Spirit and we headed back to the hotel.
Brothers were given a chance to relax before we went off to our next experience in Houston, a wonderful TexMex dinner hosted by the regional Teach For America office. After being taught the proper way to eat tamales, Brothers were given a chance to hear about Teach For America in Houston and ask questions about anything Teach For America related. Our host, Jessica, was welcoming and extremely informative.
While our first day has ended at KIPP Spirit, this once in a lifetime opportunity has only just begun. The rest of this week will be full of chances for us to grow as Brothers and members of our communities. We are here to have an impact on the school but one can already tell that the students will make large impact on our lives as well.