I’m going to talk about last weekend, February 20th, since it was my first day as a City Faces volunteer working with the kids in the community garden. I didn’t really know what to expect--I wouldn’t consider myself an experienced “kid person.” It was beautiful that Saturday, above 73 degrees, so I went in excited that we would get to be outside with the kids. As soon as we got there at around 11, we split up into pairs and walked around and picked up kids and helped set up. I went to one house and picked up two girls, and by the time we made it back to the garden, there were a bunch of kids (of all ages!) running around and playing tag and starting up the arts and crafts. That’s when I finally realized how excited I was about what I was going to do that day, for the next semester, and hopefully next few years. The activity of the day was to make self-portraits out of organic materials and photos--we had lentils, papaya seeds, and then we also printed out pictures of different fruits and vegetables. I talked to a lot of different kids that day, whether they were following through with the activity or not. Some kids sat at the picnic table and had a lot of fun with the portraits, and some kids wanted to run around and play tag and braid my hair. After the day was over and we put all the fun portraits and paintings back in the studio and headed back to the metro, I was really happy with the outcome of the day. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but I was pleasantly surprised with how genuinely happy and engaged the majority of the kids were during the time we were there. They seemed to be excited to see us and eager to do the different arts and crafts and get some exercise. It was a really great first time with the kids, and I am so grateful I will be able to follow through with this for the rest of the semester!
Maya Dutta, Community Garden Volunteer