Exceeding Expectations

19 Apr

[Editor’s Note: Co-posted on http://stephaniewhiting.wordpress.com/.]

CreateAthon onCampus surpassed my expectations. Or perhaps it was the people involved… I did not expect the level of enthusiasm or participation that we received. When this project was first discussed, no one knew exactly what it was about. We watched The Lottery and Waiting for Superman, but I don’t think any of us really thought we could do anything about our educational system. But, I was wrong. We did a lot to improve Dalewood Middle School at least. Still, there were several moments of surprise for me.

  1. The number of professionals who decided to get involved was absolutely incredible. I had no idea they would get so invested in the project, several of them staying up the entire night with us.
  2. The students from Dalewood who attended the presentation on Saturday blew me away. It was 10:00 AM! Most normal kids are still asleep on Saturday mornings, and these kids had gotten up to come visit our school. It was clear that they wanted to be there too.
  3. The teachers at Dalewood were unbelievably supportive. The art teacher, Ms. Belknap, showed up at 2:00AM to get involved with CreateAthon and to encourage us students. That’s dedication!
  4. The amount of effort UTC students put in the logistics of the project was way above what I anticipated. The building was cleaned up immediately after our presentation on Saturday. Thank you cards were written. Packets were put together. More documentation was done. Everything was “wrapped up” pretty seamlessly.

Everyone was extremely motivated, and I think the reason why boils down to two things. First, the kids. We had an opportunity to make a difference in their school, and I don’t think anybody wanted to let them down. Second, the community. With so many people willing and eager to participate, it’s almost impossible not to catch the enthusiasm. I may not have expected much at the start of CreateAthon, but I sure am glad I was there to be a part of it. The response from the kids who sent us cards and thank-you’s was overwhelming and humbling.

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