December 5, 2007
Event Analysis 12/5
This past week I took part in my very last service learning for the semester at Guilford Elementary School. It was an experience unlike any other and I think I can truly say that I will miss going there on a weekly basis. Each week I would spend about two and a half hours in a fifth grade classroom assisting with math or reading activities. I would help with group work, homework, and even give tests and quizzes. This past Tuesday felt like any other as I continued with the typical work within the classroom. Before I left to return to campus however, something special happened.
After dismissing all of the students from my classroom and exchanging a few words with the teacher about what was going to happen during the rest of the year, she gave me a hug and sent me off for one last time to sign out. However, when I got to the room where the sign out sheet was located, I found tables filled with pennies on them. Then it hit me. We were asked to stay and help roll pennies if we had time after school. They were from all of the students that attend Guilford and were to help raise money for their new playground. In addition to raising money, it allowed for each student to feel as though they helped contribute to their new toy and would hopefully make them treat it as best they could. Although it was not the first thing on my “to do” list, I hung around with a few other Loyola students and helped to roll pennies. I decided this was my way of coming to serve with all I had.
About an hour later, we had finished rolling all of the pennies and had come to a total of almost four hundred dollars. Ms. Ervin, a faculty member at Guilford that helped to make it possible for Loyola students to come and teach, was in the room with us counting the coins. When she tried to announce the total amount that we had rolled, her voice began to crack. Tears quickly filled her eyes as I got chills up and down my body. She could not even begin to express how grateful she was.
I couldn’t believe it. It was my very last day at Guilford, my very last minute, and I was still being touched by the people around me. It was absolutely amazing to see how something as simple as giving my time to roll coins, meant so much to another human being. My goal before beginning my service learning was to somehow make a difference in the classroom with the fifth grade students, but never for a second did I think I would be able to have such a great effect on people outside of that room.
I hope to somehow continue with service next semester and hope to have as great an impact as I did at Guilford. The look on Ms. Ervin’s face is one that I will never ever forget. In the future, it will continue to remind me how the littlest things can mean the world to someone and how important it is to always come willing to share everything you have with the others around you.