At PS 161, we recently added a new girl to the team, Isis, who had her first poetry
class this week. Isis had never been part of a program quite like ours and was already very excited just to be there. On top of her desire to participate in poetry,
she was already engaging in other sports nearly every day of the week. I could tell from the first five minutes with her that she had a great deal of positive energy and a lot to give.
It wasn’t until half way through the poetry class that I realized that most if not all of
the girls hadn’t been formally introduced. Isis went up to read her poem when
several “Who’s that?” rang out after she introduced herself. This was no issue for her
and after a couple minutes of having the girls make introductions, we were back on
track and Isis had made some new friends.
I quickly learned that not only was she eager to participate as a teammate but also
to help out wherever needed. In the classroom she was passing out notebooks,
keeping our space clean, answering and asking questions, and even leading the line.
And after class while waiting for parents, she helped fill up water bottles and carry
equipment to the field. We ended up kicking the ball around with her and two other
girls until she went home, but not before expressing her appreciation with a hug and
a great high-5.
Having a “first day” somewhere, whether it’s at a new job, new school, or new
program in this case, can be super tough. This can be especially true for kids since
their interactions tend to be more volatile and their behaviors more blunt than an
adult’s. It is great to see kids that are completely unfazed by new situations who
respond by just giving it their all. I hope that this Isis continues with our program
and grows through it.