Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Service at Acts4Youth

Erin Soracco
English 101.21
October 3, 2012
            Last Monday I attended my hours at the Guilford School in Baltimore for the program called Acts4Youth, and I experienced a great couple of hours with the kids, yet again.  When we arrived at the school the kids all watched my group and me and I could tell that they were secretly very thrilled to see us, even though they might not have shown it at first.  I not only went to help, but I went to serve the kids because that is what service is all about.  Service requires more than just helping because it involves knowing you are serving the community and doing something that will change them.  I reached out to them thinking about their futures because Acts4Youth’s goal is to sculpt these boys into being better students now, as well as in the future.  Connecting my time at the school with Barbara Hamby’s poem and John Ciardi’s poem helps me better see the good that I am doing, and hope to do, in the future.
            Barbara Hamby’s poem, Ode to American English is about the speaker expressing many things associated with the English language and America.  In the first line she states she is “sitting in Paris one day missing English, American, really.”  This is important to understand because the rest of the poem explains difficulties with the English language like “I have went, I have saw, I have tooken,” and other ways of English that all relate to America.  I feel like the poem is missing ideas on service, and servicing others because that is important in our society to a lot of people.  Because I was raised at home and in school to want to help other people, this leads to the way I treat others now.  Some other countries do not teach about being a Good Samaritan, helping others, or treating them the way you want to be treated.  Of course not everyone in America acts this way or is able to, but I like to think a good majority of Americans are good and caring people.  Being at Acts4Youth enables me to express my desire to serve because these boys seem to really want the help.  I very much enjoyed helping them with their homework, serving them dinner, and playing with them outside assisting their organization’s director to teach them about good leadership skills while playing something they enjoy like football.
            Suburban, written by John Ciardi, is about a woman named Mrs. Friar who calls her neighbor Mr. Ciardi about his dog’s possible surprise on her property.  Even though the neighbor knows it was not his dog he holds back his real thoughts by agreeing to pick it up for her.  The reader could be confused why he does this and does not explain that it cannot be his dog’s.  He probably does not even know himself why he did this.  Before starting Acts4Youth I knew holding back would not be effective at all.  I was instead excited about joining this organization, and also doing previous service working with kids in Operation Smile helped me get very comfortable with them and not be afraid to do anything.  Holding back would for sure make the kids feel uncomfortable around us, and this is the last thing that should happen while trying to serve them since they need to feel connected to us.
            Serving these boys at Acts4Youth has already taught me a lot even though I have only been there twice.  I learned some about Baltimore and realized that even though some of these kids are underprivileged, they still have spirit and hope for shaping their futures.  I can tell that they want to do well and are striving to do well, and this shows when they are doing their homework, playing football, and simply saying please and thank you.  Being a person of service and not holding back helps me truly to see these boys succeeding because of this program, and I am more than glad to be there with them along the way.

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