Looking back on the Kipp school visit, I can say it has been a highlight of our voyage thus far. The kids I got to work with were in Mr. Stapleton’s 5th grade science class. According to Mr. Stapleton the two classes we were going to get to work with were two of his best classes. To our surprise he said that his best 2 classes usually complete 50% of their work he assigns them, if he gets lucky. We did not really know what to expect, but from the way he described the atmosphere of class to us it seemed to not be very pleasing. I can say the moment the kids walked in to the class we were given a blank stare by all the kids as they curiously wondered who we were. We began to tell them a little bit about Ocean Classroom and it seemed as if a spark had ignited in all their heads and suddenly they were obsessed with us. They wanted to know everything about Ocean Classroom. Questions ranged from, “How do you shower?”, to, “Is it fun?”. They were given only 10 minutes to ask questions, which seems like a lot but it actually flew by. What really put a smile on all our faces was the moment a little girl asked me,” How can we become just like you guys when we are older?”. Words cannot describe the joy I felt in that very moment knowing someone wants to be like me when they grow up.
Followed by question time was work time for the students. Their assignment was to create a story, song, rap, or skit explaining the difference between an animal cell and a plant cell. The kids begged for us to come and help them. All they wanted to do was talk to us about Ocean but we tried to keep them focused on their assignment. Believe it or not when we told them to do the work and ask us questions about the cells instead they listened to us in an instant. Mr. Stapleton said both the classes we worked with had never worked so efficiently and with so much excitement ever before. Once again, I felt so pleased that we had made a small impact on these kids even if it was for just one hour. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Mr. Stapleton and both his classes but I can say the time that was most enjoyed by me and my peers was lunch and recess with our new friends. The bonds and conversation I had with the kids were eye opening. They kept asking if we would ever come back and told us not to leave. It was as if when we left they were going to cry. We were allowed to go outside and have recess with them even though we were supposed to stay back in the cafeteria. I got to enjoy another 15 minutes with my new friends by playing a little tag football and soccer. Leaving was tough and knowing I may never see these kids again was even harder. I hope we all made an impact on the KIPP school students because I know they impacted me in a tremendous fashion that I can’t thank them enough for.