We returned to Focus:HOPE today, this time to their Center for Children to volunteer in their early childhood education program. Students spent the day in different classrooms working with the kids. In the afternoon we headed to the Detroit Historical Museum, where we learned more about Detoit’s history. We capped off the afternoon by exploring a section of the Riverwalk.
Teddy: This morning we traveled to Focus:HOPE’s children’s center. At the center, each person was placed in certain rooms filled with jubilant kids. The kids were aged from 6 weeks all the way to 8 eight year olds. I was placed with one other person in the “Obama Room” with kids from 4 to 8 years. We started off during play time at around nine o’clock. The kiddos seemed very excited when I walked in because I instantly had around 4 on my back. They gave me a tour around their very own kitchen, housing area, art room, Jurassic park, and dress up closet. The room was packed with about 15 kids and about everyone thought it was a great idea to dress me up and feed me their plastic food. Being around all of the kids really put a smile on my face because even if we just stood in the corner acting as nothing they would use us as either a clothes hanger or a human jungle gym. During playtime, this one kid named Taurus really stood out to me. When I first entered the Obama room he greeting me quickly by telling me all about his dinosaur shirt. Taurus was a four year old who lives with his aunt and two brothers who seems to be the most profound four year old I’ve ever met. He told me all about the school, his house, and all of the important figures in his life. After playtime ended, all of the kids and I headed down to the gym. In the gym there were many activities for the children to interact with. They rode tricycles, played basketball, climbed the climbing wall, and again, used me as a human jungle gym. My favorite part was teaching a young boy named Elijah how to throw using the T, Elbow, Step, Throw, technique. After the kids “triked” themselves till they couldn’t anymore, we all stumbled our way back into the Obama room where tasty “snack packs” were distributed. They consisted of carrots and ranch, an apple, and a ham sandwich which was the tastiest creation to them. After lunch the children took an everlasting nap time where my old pal Taurus placed me in the cot beside him and allowed me to share his blanket. After the 2 hour power nap I realized it was time to leave my new friends. It was a harsh goodbye, but once I left I had a huge grin on my face because I felt like I had changed some lives.
Anthony: When we left Focus: Hope I knew that I had had a positive impact on the kids but I couldn’t help but wonder why these children were here. How did their city go bankrupt? But the one question that I never considered was how did they city grow to be the motor city in the first place? The answer to that question was waiting at the next place we were going to, The Detroit Historical Museum. When we were there we saw the beginnings of the motor industries with the first prototype of Ford’s model T car and Ford’s innovative production line that changed the production of cars and other products. We also saw how Detroit quickly became the center of motor vehicle production in the US and was the fifth biggest city in the US by 1929. We then saw how Detroit contributed to WW2 by producing landing craft for D-day, tanks for Europe, and over 3,000 bombers. The rise of Detroit mirrors the rise of other famous and big cities so to see it now in the state it is makes me feel that we all need to help bring this city back.