Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: A’s & Aces December

These kids are so excited to get new books!

These kids are so excited to get new books!

The month of December has been hectic at A’s & Aces.  We are trying to do as much programming as we can while dealing with changing school schedules due to the holiday season. On the other hand, our service learners are also wrapping up for the end of the semester and heading home for winter break. I had to collect time sheets from all our service learners, but the tricky part is that during finals week, almost no one responds to my emails. Finally after getting in all the time sheets, we only have few service learners that were not able to finish up their hours. Our high level service learners had different projects that they were in charge of completing by the end of the semester. Naturally, I became the person to confirm that all of the different side projects such as updating marketing material, planning service projects, and parent newsletter project was finished by the end of the semester. What I have learned from this experience is that you always have to looking over the shoulder of the service learners if you want something done. They have no initiative or drive to help the organization other than it is just a requirement to fulfill. It is hard to find people that are invested in the organization and really want to help it grow and succeed. Consequently, service learners’ finished projects were pretty mediocre.

Students at Osborne Elementary reading their new books.

Students at Osborne Elementary reading their new books.

On the brighter side, with the holiday season on moving in, we decided to go with a book distribution at Mildred Osborne Elementary. I arrived early in the morning with a few boxes of books for the all the first and second graders that we program for. The classes came in small groups of 6-8 students. At the end of our coach’s lesson plans, we handed out books for every one of them to keep. They were all really excited with their new books. I think that was by far the best experience I have had this entire month.

Books make great gifts!

Books make great gifts!

This month we also focused on our Annual Campaign. This involves sending out letters to all potential and past donors for donations. Little did I know that “sending out letters” really meant me walking to every house within a 5 mile radius and sneaking it in their mail box (it’s illegal…I know). I have to say the walks are pretty enjoyable except it is usually ruined when I open up a mail slot to push the envelope through and the snout of a dog beats me there: mini heart attacks are okay right?



This entry was posted on December 30, 2013 by in VISTA Field Reports.


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