Saturday, June 23, 2012

Back to School Festivities

For kids, the month of June means one thing: time to bring out the brand-new backpacks and shiny black shoes. Summer has come to an end and a new school year begins yet again. 
The transition from playing all day to sitting down in a classroom is never easy. To help the Mano Amiga students ease back into the school year, the Habitat Youth Council and Mcdonalds celebrated the children's return with a Back to School party.

"The volunteers had so much fun because the kids were so excited and energetic." Habitat Youth Council founder Alex Eduque shared. "They were actively participating in all the activities and they were able to communicate well--proof of the good education that they're receiving in Mano Amiga."

The Habitat Youth Council spent the morning eating and playing with the students. In between bites, the students entertained the volunteers by showing off their talents as they sang and danced to the songs being played in the the store.

Even the Mcdonalds crew were amazed by the students' "go-getter attitude." During one of the games, the students were divided into teams and were asked to make "the longest line" they could come up with using what they had in their pockets. "The Mcdonalds host shared with me that it was the first time in history that the line of objects extended all the way out into the streets," Alex recalled with a laugh. "We had to stop the game and declare a tie because we were worried the cars would run over their stuff."
The celebration concluded with the turn over of much needed school supplies and some food packages for the parents of the students.

"Apart from the fun and games, volunteering activities expose our students to youth role models they could look up to," Development Director Lynn Pinugu shared. "I strongly believe activities like this are one of the reasons why Mano Amiga students enjoy going to school so much. They receive so many opportunities that broaden their horizons and give them something to aspire for." 
Habitat Youth Council founder Alex Eduque was immediately charmed by Grade 1 student Carlos when he turned over his placemat and drew for her.