"I think Mr. Pirraglia nailed the purpose of my Creative Writing class visiting Cameron Elementary when he said, “They’re not reading today, they’re connecting today.” My fourth period class did not spend a month churning out ideas, refining them, and illustrating them for our children’s books to be merely graded. Reading to the kids at Cameron – my old school – was our way to give back to our community, while also identifying with the children in an experience that we will never forget.
Curious eyes as wide as saucers greeted my three classmates and me as we entered Room 16. My fourth of the class huddled around me like bees hover around their hive, and gazed at me shyly. After gulping a few breaths of air, I began my story, titled “Jenna B. Gumbo,” which is about a girl with bubble gum for hair. My intent was to teach kids about the hurtfulness of bullying and the necessity for kindness. As the groups rotated, I saw more and more enthusiasm among my listeners and gained momentum in my confidence.
Earlier I said our purpose was to give back to our community. Well, in the end it turned out to be a way for our community to give even more to us. Receiving the smiles and hugs from the appreciative children made my heart swell with joy. Honestly, I describe our field trip to Cameron as a mutual exchange of fun, excitement, and blessing."