AALEAD students at Bancroft and Thomson Elementary schools got a visit last week from a National Park Ranger from Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. The Park Ranger taught the kids about local watersheds and the importance of keeping our waterways clean. AALEAD students got to see first hand how pollution can get into our waterways during the Ranger’s rainstorm demonstration. Water was sprayed over a miniature model of a suburban neighborhood, and chocolate mix was used to represent waste that washed into our waterways from the rainstorm. Students looked at maps of area watersheds, learned about Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, and had a chance to talk with the Ranger about ways students can keep their neighborhood watersheds clean.
Check out this video of Ranger Alexis’ watershed model:
The Ranger’s visit coincides with AALEAD’s participation in the 23rd Annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup on Saturday, April 14th, at Theodore Roosevelt Island. The clean-up was a chance for AALEADers to give back to community, and learn about watersheds first-hand. Stay tuned for pictures and a blog post about this great event!
blog post by: Diana Offutt, Bancroft AALEAD Site Coordinator
AALEAD’s Elementary School Programs at Bancroft and Thomson have had the opportunity this year to participate in the “Be Water Wise DC!” program sponsored by the National Environmental Education Foundation and funded by HSBC. “Be Water Wise DC!” engages K-12 students in projects about protecting and conserving local water resources. AALEAD students at Thomson and Bancroft have spent time this year collecting and analyzing data about their school’s water use and learning about various water conservation issues. They decided last week to celebrate the UN’s 2012 World Water Day by sharing some of what they have learned with their school communities!
At Bancroft AALEAD, students created a series of banners and posters for display around the school. These signs will remind their classmates of the importance of water conservation:
Thomson AALEADers worked together to create a display reminding their classmates to “Be Water Wise” and sharing some water conservation facts and tips:
Students at Thomson also wrote Public Service Announcements which were heard by the entire school throughout the week! These announcements reminded their classmates that water “is an important natural resource, therefore, we need to practice water saving measures at home and at school.” Thomson AALEADers also shared tips for conserving water such as ”quickly report water leaks you notice at home or at school” and “turn off running water while brushing our teeth and washing dishes.”
Stay tuned for updates on more Water Wise projects from Thomson and Bancroft AALEADers!
World Learning is a great organization which coordinates undergraduate student exchanges through its Global UGRAD program. Last November, they brought several international students to our DC elementary after-school programs at Bancroft and Thomson Elementary to talk about their home countries in Asia and Central/South America and volunteer with the kids. Everyone involved had a great time, so we were happy to partner with them for another international student volunteer day.
We had 11 international students come to Thomson Elementary on March 8 to volunteer with our students. After helping them with their homework, the international students gave short presentations about their countries. Many of the AALEAD students had questions for the volunteers like “what kind of food do you eat?” They also learned how to say “hello”, “goodbye” and “thank-you” from some of the volunteers.
On March 15, a separate group of 6 international students visited Bancroft Elementary. As soon as they arrived at the school, our students were excited to see them and play with them. After a quick game of kickball at recess, they settled down to homework with the help of the volunteers.
Once the students were finished with their homework, they got to learn more about the volunteers and their home countries.
All of AALEAD’s students had a great time with the World Learning volunteers. Thank you World Learning for bringing your students to our programs!
On February 10th, 11 college students from the Filipino Organization of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) visited our Bancroft Elementary after-school program for a dance workshop. The FOCUS students choreographed a dance just for our students to learn. Our students were very excited to learn a dance routine, and were very quick to catch on!
After getting on their feet and dancing the afternoon away (complete with a dance-off at the end with special moves!), they settled down with the FOCUS students to work on their homework and reading, while munching on some cookies made by FOCUS as a special treat.
Thank you FOCUS for coming out and volunteering with our students at Bancroft!
At the beginning of this month, 34 of our Elementary School AALEADers from Thomson and Bancroft ES’s went on a field trip to the US Capitol Building. The day started off cold and windy, but the bright sun soon warmed us up as we traveled to the Capitol. Before the official tour, students got to explore the Capitol Building Museum, which included models of the Capitol and surroundings from the end of the 18th century to the present – students were amazed to see how much the area has changed! Thank you to our wonderful museum docent who showed students around and explained the significance of the models.
The tour itself started with beautiful 15 minute video introducing students to the history and significance of the US Capitol Building.
Students waiting for the video to start!
Next it was off to the Rotunda, where our tour guide shared about the construction of the Capitol Dome as well as the artwork and statues that decorate the inside.
Our next stop was the statuary room, where students saw statues sent from all over the country and learned that the room was originally built to be the House of Representatives chamber. They also learned a bit about acoustics and got to test out how sound carried from one side of the hall to the other.
Thank you to Mr. David Cox and Ms. Susan Rohol from Minnesota Senator Al Franken’s office for arranging this tour for us! Our students enjoyed the tour very much and truly benefited from the experience.
This past week, for the third year running, our DC High School AALEADers pulled out all the stops to transform our normally mild-mannered office space into a tremendously creepy Haunted House for the benefit of our Elementary School students. It was a full house with over 80 elementary school students, many cleverly disguised as ghosts, goblins, princesses, cats, bunny rabbits, and all manner of terrifying creatures, gathered in the downstairs fellowship hall awaiting their turn to bravely follow their High School guides through the Haunted House. While they waited they enjoyed a slice of Pizza (thank you Pizza Bolli’s!), made masks, and got their faces painted.
Thank you our High School AALEADers for the incredible work that went into this year’s haunted house! Thank you to all the AALEAD staff, interns, and volunteers who pitched in to transport students, paint faces, and pass out pizza. Last but not least, thank you to our amazing Elementary School Program teachers who invest so much in our Elementary School students on a daily basis!
The past 2+ years I have had the pleasure of not only working but learning at AALEAD, developing my skills as a youth development worker. I cannot express the gratitude I have in my heart for the staff at AALEAD past and present that have really shaped the type of youth worker I am now.
The students past and present of course have had a tremendous impact on my life and I cannot thank them for the laughter, hard knocks and growth, and the special conversations/relationships I have had. I was a little nervous and anxious to meet you all, but I will treasure each student that passed through the program and were so patient with me as I tried to make each day unique, interesting, and engaging.
To the AALEAD parents, I have a lot of respect for all you do for your children and the time and energy you put towards their growth. Thank you for trusting AALEAD with the care and education that you want for your children. It is humbling to know that we have had such a significant part of their lives, and you allowed it to happen.
To the staff and board members of AALEAD, thank you for the opportunity to serve alongside you to continue to grow the Asian American community in Maryland and DC. I have learned a lot of not only Non-profit but also of myself and what my strengths and weaknesses are.
It will be difficult to say goodbye at my time here, but if anything I take pride in the fact that AALEAD has created an environment and allows an place for Asian Americans to feel a sense of belonging and teaches each other on how to contribute to our own community to the larger global community.
Next week Montgomery County will be celebrating their 25th anniversary for Community Service Day and has organized several events throughout the week for residents to participate in community service. As a way to get involved in the community, AALEAD students will be participating in community service and will be hosting a ribbon making event for the American Childhood Cancer Organization on Saturday, October 22 from 10am to 2pm at the Civic Center in Downtown Silver Spring! Each ribbon represents a child who has or has had cancer and will be used for the American Childhood Cancer Organization’s annual tree lighting event. Join us and Get Involved!
What’s good, AALEAD! My name is Sharon and I am a new MD Middle School Program Coordinator for AALEAD. I was recently a teacher for the Elementary After-School Program at Bancroft Elementary School in Washington, DC. I am really excited to join the AALEAD staff full time in Maryland and to get to know all the middle school students, especially at Eastern, A. Mario Loiderman and New Port Mill (6th and 7th grades) Middle Schools.
I can’t wait to get to know everyone and work with my partner in crime Ryan (MD Middle School Program Coordinator) for an awesome year!!
Shout out to the wonderful Edison and Jonathan for training me and getting me prepped for all the cool things we’ll be doing with our middle school students.
Until next time…..
Ms. Sharon with Bancroft Elementary School AALEAD-ers. Swag!
Hello AALEAD! My name is Sumiko Chambers and I am another new addition to the staff, as the new Volunteer Maryland Coordinator. I’m originally from Portland, Oregon and moved here for this opportunity, so bear with me if I don’t know where something is in the DC Metro area! I’d also like to thank all the AALEAD staff that have welcomed me to the office.
I’m really looking forward to this year with AALEAD and working with all our awesome volunteers. I’m also very excited to meet all of our AALEAD-ers this year and work on the great programs we have going. One of my goals is to meet all of our students at least once this year, so be on the lookout for me!
If any of you would like to volunteer with one of these programs, you can e-mail me at email@example.com or call me at 202.884.0322 ext 111 and we can talk a bit more about it.