Hi friends! My name is Shalyn Stack, and I am serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Delta College in University Center, Michigan. I am the program director for Public Achievement, a mentoring program working with at-risk K-12 schools in the Great Lakes Bay Region. The students at Delta College are trained to be mentors to the K-12 students participating in Public Achievement and guide them towards addressing everyday issues they face such as: bullying, equality, poverty, etc. and giving them the tools to make positive change in their community.
This past semester, we worked with the 5th graders at Washington Elementary, located in Bay City, Michigan. Each 5th grade class (there are three) chose different projects to work on throughout the semester that will better their school and community. We had about 60 fifth graders and 40 Delta College Public Achievement mentors for the fall semester. The projects chosen were: community garden, bike safety, and safety town. For the community garden group, they chose to revitalize an area outside of their school that has garden plots and benches. They want to make a “reading garden” for kids in the school/community. They planted wildflowers in their classroom and they’re going to plant them in the reading garden plots in the spring. We are also going to paint the benches and plot boxes to make it colorful and inviting. The bike safety group chose to make a bike safety video that would be shown district wide. The kids talked about bike maintenance, rules of the road, and helmet safety. The safety town group worked on a model sized safety town. Each student was given a different building to design, and each building talked about a different type of safety. For example: the internet tower talked about internet safety and cyber bullying. The model safety town was a very cool project to work on, and was featured on the front page of the Bay City Public Schools Spotlight!
I am now hitting the 6 month mark of my second year of service. This second term is flying by so fast! This past semester of Public Achievement was a success; each project worked on was carried out and completed. It was an uplifting semester and am excited for what the next 6 months will bring.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!