I helped clean around a fire department, pain their walls, and retile one of the hallways
I had a great time helping out at the Mornignside Volunteer Fire Department. To be able to give back to a group that gives back to their community everyday, was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.
MLK day of service spent at Malcolm X Elementary school organising and taking inventory of storage rooms and classrooms
I helped with organizing in an elementary school in Alexandria, we worked in the supply closet to make sure everything was in the right place.
For the MLK Day of Service, I went with a group of students to help with various projects at the Malcolm X Elementary School in DC. This school is located in a lower income area of DC, and even though the kids had school off I noticed stark differences in the resources this school has versus some of the public schools in wealthier areas. Before I point those out, I would like to mention how much pride in this school I observed, especially in the principal who welcomed us. From looking at the displays of student artwork and projects and empowering murals on the walls, it was easy to see the passion the faculty and staff have for their work. Our job was to start cleaning out some storage rooms and classrooms, something we did not fully accomplish in the few hours we were there. It seemed these rooms had been building up with unused class materials and other storage items for quite some time. Our tasks made me think about why our presence there was needed. From what I recall, we never had anyone volunteer like this at my school back home, and I doubt this is necessary at the wealthier schools in Maryland and Virginia, just across the river. My guess is that the school is underfunded, and can't afford enough janitorial staff to tackle some of these projects because they are (wisely) using their limited resources to give their students every opportunity they can. I noticed from the pictures in the hallway that there were far more students in each classroom than in the classrooms I had grown up with, and I can't imagine how busy each teacher is. Funding for public schools is often based off the property taxes of a certain area, something I have always felt is ridiculous: shouldn't every child be given the same education in the public school system, regardless of their parent's socioeconomic statuses? While these schools are filled with passion filled teachers, it is still necessary for the government to provide adequate funding for the schools to function properly and allow those teachers to put all their focus in helping kids learn, not to mention funding after school programs that help kids further develop their physical and mental abilities. Inadequate funding furthers the cycle of poverty, and limits the opportunities of children right from the beginning. I have a great respect for the staff at Malcolm X and I hope our efforts helped, even in a very small way, to make their jobs easier.
We visited a firehouse and helped them organize and paint their house.
I volunteered at the Morningside Volunteer Fire Department and had the honor of helping to clean up the firehouse. I organized medical equipment for the EMT crew, helped to paint walls, and helped to tile the floors. This was such a rewarding experience!
I volunteered at Malcom X elementary school
I volunteered at the Malcom X elementary school with other students in the community. Once we arrived, we were assigned specific groups with various tasks. My main contributions to the school were cleaning and organizing the teachers' lounge.
I found this as a great opportunity to team up with others to help our surrounding community.
For MLK Day of Service I volunteered at a local firehouse, cleaning out and organizing various offices, closets, and cabinets within the building to help create a safer and more organized environment.
We helped clean up the National Mall and surrounding area of trash.