by Charlie H. ’22 and Mikaela B. ’22
Lakeside 8th-grade students are currently on cultural- and service-immersion trips as part of our Global Service Learning program. For one week, they live and work alongside people in communities where issues of economy, environment, and culture intersect. The experience provides an opportunity for students to learn about the region, connect with peers, and consider their own identity and values. Structured reflection is a key element of the program; here, students on a trip at Makah share thoughts about their second day.
Today, we went to the elementary school and worked with the 2nd and 4th graders. We started the day off with the 2nd graders and helped them fill out a superhero narrative worksheet. Each 8th grader was paired with two 2nd graders, but none of us had realized how much of an impact we would make in their day. Right away, the 2nd graders started opening up to us with stories and information about themselves.
We expected the 2nd graders to be very shy and quiet. Immediately we realized that we were wrong. They were outgoing, happy, excited and very welcoming. Both groups had no problem connecting with each other. During lunch when separated from the younger students and met up with our fellow classmates, we had so many awesome stories to tell each other.
After eating lunch, it was time for recess. All of our buddies came running out of the building to come find us and many of them greeted us with hugs and high fives. This brought a smile to our faces because we didn’t realize how happy they were to see us. We started to play sports and games with our buddies. When recess ended, someone even said that playing with them was one of the most fun times they had in a while. Then, we got ready to meet the 4th graders.
Meeting the 4th graders was a different experience than the 2nd graders. They were still kind but not as energetic and open to us as the 2nd graders. The first thing we did with them was play a game in the gym where we got to know each other better. Then we helped them take notes on an article we read together. These kids were wild but also loads of fun. Once the kids went to their next class, we left to go see the Makah Museum after a quick reflection period. Inside the museum, we learned plenty about the Makah tribe and their history. The artifacts and exhibits were exciting, interactive, and insightful.
Throughout the entire day, we learned many things. We were able to do things we don’t have the time to do at home such as reflecting and connecting with the community. We didn’t know the impact someone could make in others' lives until today. We’re very happy with what we accomplished today and we can’t wait to work with everyone tomorrow.