Thursday, May 29, 2014

Week 4: Second Harvest and Loaves & Fishes

   S.I.S. interns split up into two groups this week so they could experience two different food banks within Mecklenburg County. At the end of the week, they compared and contrasted the organizations. The interns learned that even though the organizations have different processes and different ways of getting food, the ultimate goal for both food banks is to never turn anyone away and to feed hungry people.

Delivering food from Loaves & Fishes to various food pantries

    The week taught the interns about the entire process of food banks; from collections to sorting to delivery. They also learned about the need for volunteers to simply sort food. Interns were able to sort food and learn about what makes a product good enough to give away and what products have been damaged and would not be healthy for families in need.

Moving food at Second Harvest Food Bank

Volunteering at Second Harvest

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Week 3: Sedgefield Reading Celebration

   S.I.S. interns were able to be a part of the reading celebration for Sedgefield students. Students were chosen to be a part of the celebration if their reading scores are high enough and if they have improved throughout the school year. S.I.S. interns went into the classrooms and called out each student who was rewarded with the celebration and congratulated them on their high reading scores.

   S.I.S. interns played BINGO with the Sedgefield students as part of the celebration. The Center for Active Citizenship staff said that the kids were more excited during this reading party than at any other reading celebration! Interns learned the importance of getting students excited about reading and the knowledge they gained from Promising Pages the week before added to their experience with literacy at Sedgefield Elementary.

Week 3: Sedgefield Elementary

  S.I.S. interns spent the week helping within the literacy and math departments and assisted with preparation for summer school. They created kits for the summer school students and worked in the front office and with the social worker.

    S.I.S. interns also worked in the library and organized the books. They were able to see, firsthand, all of the work that goes into making a school run smoothly. The interns thoroughly enjoyed helping "run" the school for a few days in preparation for the end of the school year!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Week 2: Day 3

        S.I.S. interns spent the morning at Crisis Assistance Ministry with Promising Pages. They helped Erma the Bookworma pass out books to the children who were waiting on-site with their families. They were able to read stories with some of the children. The interns also go to practice a little Spanish when corresponding with the Hispanic children! Because they want to respect the privacy of the families, there will not be any photos posted to this blog.

        The group spent the afternoon finishing up the organization of the Promising Pages warehouse. Being able to see the changes and improvements made to the warehouse was nice because they know how much more useful the space will be to the employees and volunteers.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Week 2: Day 2 - Rama Road Elementary and the Warehouse

S.I.S. interns spent the morning at Rama Road Elementary with the 1st grade classes. They helped children pick out their new books and were able to experience a Promising Pages Magic Book Party.

Interns were able to see the excitement and pure joy on the 1st graders faces. They also got to see how their hard work of sorting and cleaning books from the day before paid off. They had the privilege of helping some children pick out special books. In many cases, S.I.S. interns shared stories about reading their favorite books as children with the 1st graders. Being able to pass on a love for a particular book to a child who would not otherwise own a book was very special.

Each 1st grader took home four books to add to their libraries at home.

S.I.S. interns spent the afternoon at the Promising Pages warehouse. They helped sort what seemed like a hundred different types of wrapping paper (which is used to wrap the books as gifts). They also reorganized the main storage space so that books, magic carpets, magazines, wrapping supplies, and boxes each had their own spaces.

S.I.S. interns also learned about community involvement with different non-profit organizations like Promising Pages. Promising Pages' office and warehouse is located inside of a local business' warehouse. The business allows Promising Pages to use the space rent-free. They also met the director of Promising Pages, Christina Cruz, and the new business manager who is retired from a career in insurance.

Monday, May 12, 2014

S.I.S. Week 2, Day 1: Promising Pages

S.I.S. interns spent the day at Promising Pages. They cleaned, stamped, and wrapped books in wrapping paper in preparation for the Magic Book Party tomorrow.

S.I.S. interns learned about the history of the organization and were able to understand the mission of Promising Pages through a video the director made and that Brennan showed them. Brennan works for Promising Pages and is a recent Queens alumna, so it was neat to hear her stories and learn about her journey as a Queens student and how it led to her working at Promising Pages.

Promising Pages provides books to children who do not have the privilege to own books. Reading is a necessity and Promising Pages teaches children that being a bookworm is fun and will lead to success in life. The organization excites children about the adventures of reading and the endless possibilities that reading provides in life.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Day 2 On the Job

Summer In Service Interns returned to the same house from Day 1 to perfect the work they had previously started.

Nelsy and Erin having fun caulking and painting!

Lydia on the front porch painting the column posts. 

Maya, Tamarria, and our awesome supervisor Kevin!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Day 2 - Habitat for Humanity

S.I.S. interns spent the day helping to finish a Habitat Charlotte house.

Interns caulked frames, doors, and what seemed like every surface of the house!

S.I.S. interns also stained the fence on the front porch and painted the beams.

Some of them even painted about fifteen different doors (two coats each).

Everyone enjoyed the warm day and bonded over lunch on the porch and singing songs while working.

S.I.S. 2014 - Adventures of Day 1

Icebreakers, Breakfast, Rules, Forms, Organizations, and the Down-Low

UNCC's Ventures Course:

S.I.S. interns learned about the importance of trusting yourself and trusting others. 

S.I.S. interns took a personality test at orientation and used that to determine their strengths and weaknesses while completing tasks at the ropes course.

S.I.S. members encouraged each other to not give up and they even noticed the improvement of their teamwork from beginning to end.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Gearing Up - Weeks 9, 10, and 11 of S.I.S. 2013

    S.I.S. interns spent a week at Operation Homefront, an organization that provides financial help, food assistance, and repairs to the family members of wounded warriors and service members. Students helped plan a baby shower for wives of military wives whose husbands were deployed. The interns were a part of various activities in order to prepare for the baby shower. If you are interested in learning more about Operation Homefront, check out their website:

      Interns spent the ninth week at Promising Pages, an organization that levels the playing field, and offers all kids a fair shot at life by giving them the tools they need to succeed at an early age. Those tools are books, a love of reading, and a health self-esteem that comes with book ownership. S.I.S. interns worked in the warehouse and helped with the Magic Book Parties. They loved working with the kids and seeing their pure excitement and joy when receiving a new book! If you are interested in volunteering with Promising Pages, check out their website:

     The final organization that S.I.S. interns worked with was Friendship Trays. They spent the days filling up food trays for the Meals on Wheels Program. The program delivers around 600 trays to elderly, handicapped, and convalescing people who are unable or greatly restricted in their ability to prepare or secure meals. If you are interesting in getting involved with Friendship Trays, check out their website:

3 days until S.I.S. 2014 begins! Look out for a new post about our Orientation and plans for the first week!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gearing Up - Weeks 6, 7, and 8 of S.I.S. 2013

    Week 6 was spent at Crisis Assistance Ministry, an organization that provides assistance and advocacy for people in financial crisis, helping them move toward self-sufficiency. The interns sorted and folded donations for The Free Store which provides donated clothing, household items, furniture, and appliances all at no charge to families in need. At the end of the week, the interns realized how important their work was and how it kept the organization going. If you are interested in volunteering at Crisis Assistance Ministry, check out their website:

      Week 7 was spent with Boys and Girls Club of Charlotte. The S.I.S. interns spent the week forming relationships with the children and helped facilitate their summer camp. The week with the Boys and Girls Club was one of the intern's favorites because they were able to establish long-term relations with the organization and enjoy the company of the children. If you are interested in engaging in activities with children at the Boys and Girls Club, check out their website:

      S.I.S. interns spent week 8 with Freedom Schools Partners. Freedom Schools "engage, educate, and empower children to succeed in school and in life through quality educational enrichment programs." S.I.S. interns spent the week assisting with small projects on-site and with the learning intensive Freedom Schools summer program. If you would like to learn more about Freedom School Partners, visit their website:

Only 4 days until S.I.S. 2014 begins!