By: Meghan Mangrum, Epsilon Delta Chapter
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Day Two of Team Spirit’s 2012 Alternative Break Project in Houston started off on a roll. We were back at KIPP Spirit bright and early and this morning we were able to experience a very important aspect of KIPPsters’ daily life. Every morning, KIPP teachers lead a “Morning Circle” which is a time for students to discuss and reflect on a topic such as goal-setting, how to achieve their goals, etc. Students interact in various ways through the activity and we have been invited to lead our own Morning Circles on Wednesday, which we are all very excited about.
After Morning Circles, Team Spirit jumped right into the work at hand (now as Team Saw and Team Flux). We are constructing a portable stage and backdrop for students to use in whatever way that fits their needs. There were various tasks that needed to be done, including measuring and sawing wood for the platforms, cleaning and fitting together PVC pipes for the structure of the backdrop, painting, sanding and learning to master power tools!
Throughout the day Brothers moved seamlessly from task to task, pitching in wherever their skills or help were needed. We have definitely begun to get into the swing of things at KIPP. We understand their schedule, have met many of the teachers and the kids recognize us and have continued to be very interested in what we are doing. They go out of their way to wave hello, open doors and approach us with questions whether about our work here at KIPP, ourselves, or college in general.
We once again had the opportunity to eat lunch with the students – middle school lunches are also an adventure, and today some Brothers spoke with the TFA corps members who currently teach at KIPP Spirit.
After an extraordinarily successful day, in which we turned our temporary home (the art room) into a woodshop meets set design area, we departed KIPP. After a little downtown, which for most of Team Houston meant napping, we got to see more of Houston on our way to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes. After eating school lunches, Sweet Tomatoes was an adventure, especially since most of us had never been to one before; the chocolate lava cake with ice cream on top is highly recommended.
We got to end the day shopping for our College Corner project and trying to figure out what will serve the students best before our grand reveal later this week.
Team Houston is expecting more wonderful experiences as the week progresses. Not only is our project having an impact on KIPP Spirit and the KIPPsters there, but this experience and the opportunity to grow with our fellow Brothers is truly having an impact on us.