Yesterday was a huge day for the island school community and for all of us students! We went to Deep Creek Middle School, which is one of the three parts of the Island School, to meet our little buddies. Each student has a buddy from the 7th-9th grade. I met my buddy, Kesyla. Although shy at first, she really opened up by the end of the day. Each buddy pair is working on a bigger project which focuses on issues in the local communities: cancer, diabetes, shadism, plastics, or building a new community center. My buddy and I are working on the Diabetes project. Although she is only 12, Kesyla presented to the entire group why this issue was important globally and locally. One thing that particularly struck me was how high the rates of Diabetes were in The Bahamas. She described was a typical Eleutheran dinner was, and eloquently spoke about how the island needed to start making more healthy choices. Later, she told me that some of her family members are diabetics, making this project for important for her. I am excited that I get to work on a community outreach project with my buddy, because working towards one common goal will help us bond throughout this semester. I love that we can both teach each other throughout this community outreach experience. At Deep Creek Middle School, we got to know many other kids besides our buddies. We played basketball games and had arts and crafts time to do so. The kids were bursting with excitement, eager to show all of us Island School kids their skills on the basketball court. Although I was usually the first one eliminated in the game of knockout, it was awesome to watch the game progress from the sidelines. All of the girls giggled and hugged us, and the boys were already joking around like old friends. When I was their age I was very shy, so it amazed me to see all of the students so eager to open up and get so know every single one of us. The excitement about getting to know your buddy, and for your project was evident and overflowing on the DCMS campus. And now I look forward to every Thursday so I can hang out and work with the energized and motivated group!
Another highlight of the day included advisory time. The advisory groups are small, consisting of one faculty member and four students. Every advisory does something different, whether it is going snorkeling, baking, or building a fort. Advisory time can be an adventure, or simply time to relax and tell the group how the past week has gone. This particular time, I noticed a difference in my advisory; we all seemed a lot closer, as we shared highlights and lowlights from our past week. Many other students said the same thing. Overall, yesterday was an awesome day to bond with members inside and outside of the community.