March 18, 2008

Students focus on service learning in preparation for playground build

By Julio Salcedo
Site Director, Lytle Creek Park, San Bernadino, Calif.

Hello and a good day to everyone from Lytle Creek Community Center in the city of San Bernardino, Calif. It has been a pleasure and an honor to expose our youth to the KaBOOM! service learning curriculum focusing on the values of Cesar Chavez. Our center decided that pairing up our teens with our younger kids would make the experience much more interactive and fun for both age groups, and the experiment has worked!

In our first session, we asked the group what they thought service learning means. The children learned that service learning involves caring about the needs of the community and changing our behavior to better the places where we live.

The following sessions included:

  • Public relations, where they developed Build Day invitations for VIPs and started thinking about thank-you cards for volunteers
  • Playground safety, where children developed playground rules, talked about the importance of sharing the playground with others and discussed the consequences of not following the rules
  • Cesar Chavez, where the whole session was dedicated to learning more about his life. Participants wrote short essays on the core values and read them to the rest of the group.
  • History of our city, where the children learned about the city's first female mayor, the first Latino mayor, the founding community of our city, the gold rush within our own city, and the many presidents and vice presidents who have visited.

We always knew, and it becomes more obvious by the day, that the KaBOOM! playground is more than a playground. It has sparked excitement, community pride and a desire to serve. Thank you, and we are anxiously waiting for our Build Day on Saturday, Mar. 29.

kaboom! news, cesar chavez day, california