August 25, 2010

no. 9: you know, for kids

To commemorate the past 14 months of my life, I will countdown my top 10 "Most Memorable Moments," as a Texan.

No. 9: You Know, for Kids — My day as a volunteer at the Houston Children's Festival

In April, I had the opportunity to give back to my community as a volunteer at the Houston Children's Festival. In addition to being a weekend filled with fun, educational activities for families, funds raised at the festival benefit Child Advocates, Inc.

A little background on the festival from the press release:

Designated as "Houston’s Official Family Celebration," the Houston Children’s Festival, presented by Baker Hughes, is gearing up for its 22nd year as Houston’s favorite family outing. Scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, April 10 & 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., the event takes place around City Hall, Tranquility Park and Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston. Designated as one of the “World’s 300 Unmissable Events” by Frommer’s Travel Guides, the festival is expected to attract an expected attendance of 50,000 plus people.

I worked the Saturday afternoon shift at SABIC Monster Math Zone. I work with SABIC Americas, Inc., and their Houston-based office to produce an employee magazine three times yearly. They are great clients and the employees consistently find ways to give back to the community. This year, as we pieced together an article about the event, I decided I wanted to get involved and help, too.

During my shift, I ran the geometry booth. For hours, I supervised children as they used geoboards to make shapes. I also asked visitors to use their knowledge of shapes and space to calculate how many of an item fit in a jar.

By the end of the afternoon, my feet hurt, my throat was hoarse and I was hungry. And I'd had a blast.

I also had good feedback from several of the parents throughout the afternoon. Many asked me if I was a teacher in my "real life," and I took that as a compliment. For years I planned to be a teacher and have the upmost respect for that profession. It got me thinking that maybe I should consider teaching as a future career move.

Most importantly, volunteering at the festival reminded me of how much I enjoy community service. I plan to do more of it in the future.

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