For the second year, I spent my Friday mornings volunteering at Kieran's elementary school, singing with the kids. I started this when the school lost its music teacher because of budget cuts. Last year I sang with Kieran's second-grade class, and this year I sang with his third-grade class and also with the second-grade class taught by the wonderful Renay Schaeffer. It was her last year of teaching (she taught both Kieran and Chris), so I told her I would continue singing with her class if she'd have me.
I found it fascinating to move from second grade to third grade in a half hour. The second-grade class was quite big (28), while the third-grade class had only 21. About half of the kids in Kieran's class sang with me last year, so that made learning songs much easier. Their reading fluency also made it easier. Next year I'll have to have two different sets of songs...one for pre-reading or early-reading kindergarteners.
Last year on the final day, the kids gave me wonderfully illustrated cards and the parents gave me a flowering basket. This year we gathered the two classes together for a final singalong, and I brought my personal percussionist (who has accompanied me when he's been off school on occasional Fridays, and the kids love him!), in addition to a few singers (Mike and Nick).
|With my favorite drummer (drumming on a chair)|
|Mike singing with gusto while holding five-year-old|
|Second and third graders together|
Here are a sampling of the great cards and letters they gave me this year (along with a Marco's gift certificate--yum!)...these personal messages are a highlight of my volunteer experience!! I love to see what they think I look like! :)
|I just might have to write Audrey a note|
to answer her question about pets and my favorite book!
|Several of them mentioned Chris!|
|This one cracks me up...blue lips and a buzzcut!! |
Not sure what the orange fish are doing on my shoulders...
|Love the pig nose!|
|Oh, so sweet! |
She "relly, relly, relly" likes me!
|Second graders are good for your ego. :)|
|Check out those eyelashes!|
|Eyelash extensions! |
And look at the sweet heart necklace...
|I feel bad that I won't be singing with these kids next year--|
but instead will offer to sing in Nick's kindergarten class and Kieran's 4th grade class
|I wonder if these two were sitting next|
to each other as they were drawing (see above)?
|"I like that you smile every time."|
|Don't I look glamorous!?|
|"I like you coming to have us sing. It builds character." :)|
|Appreciating the days I have left of Kieran|
appreciating me coming into his classroom!!
|"Do you wish that people were not so disruptive? I do." |
That Annika (one of Kieran's buddies) cracks me up!
|Card from Renay (the second grade teacher)|
|See you next year, kiddos!|