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2022 Service-Learning Symposium: Poverty in Schools

Poverty in Schools 

Authors: Karianna Davis

Faculty Supervisor: Anelise Farris, Ph.D.

Community Partner: 21st Century Program at Goodyear Elementary


Throughout the semester, I visited 2nd graders in their after school program. I was there to show them that you can have fun outside of school, and there is more to the world outside of school. Many of them are either growing up in a poor environment or are an only child with no parental involvement, or the only fun they have is at school because they cannot afford to do the activities that are done at school. I did many activities with them. My favorite activity with them was when we made glow in the dark slime. It was fun watching them make it, they were so excited the whole time. With each activity they did, it was developing their cognitive learning. It was making them use every part of their brain without them knowing. They saw the activity as something fun to do, when in reality they were using what they either already knew to help them complete the activity. It made me realize that I miss being a kid and having no worries or responsibilities in life. I worked with the 21st Century after school program at Goodyear Elementary. Personally, I loved going there many afternoons and interacting and playing with them. I was like the older sibling they’ve always wanted. I personally had a pretty decent lifestyle growing up, but seeing those kids and how they are growing up made me realize that I had it a lot easier. On the first day, I told them that I was once in their shoes and that I went to the very same school that they are currently going to. They were shocked and didn’t believe me. And I told them all the things I did and how I didn’t get to do a lot of the things that they were doing. I told them to be grateful for having this opportunity to be in this program because there are kids who wish they could do the same thing. There is always something to learn from younger kids no matter how much older you are than them. It was important to me because all kids don’t grow up the same and don’t get to experience what other kids experience. The impact it had on the community is that it made the kids excited to come to school and do these fun activities all while using what they learned. This project was important to me because it showed me that not all kids grow up the way you think they do. With this project, it can help these younger kids to keep doing what they're doing and strive to be better the older they get and accomplish all their goals because there is no limit to reaching your goals.