Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Alpha Phi Brothers & Day of Difference

Another semester means another day to make a difference in the Gainesville community. For many students at the University of Florida, Day of Difference is one of their favorite parts of the semester.  Enactus has continued to host this event for the past five years, and Alpha Kappa Psi’s Alpha Phi Chapter is especially proud of its brothers who participated this year.  For some brothers, they enjoy knowing that they made a difference while others are easily satisfied by seeing the smiles on the children’s faces at the end of the day.  Below are some AKPsi brother reactions to Day of Difference and how it has and will continue to impact their lives.  

Jake Buckels
 I really wanted to help out in the community and make a positive impact on the lives of young kids. Before this semester’s Day of Difference, I had previously volunteered for it during the fall 2012 semester. The most memorable aspect was seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids and how happy they were during the day. It wasn’t hard to tell that they will remember this day for a long time. I would recommend others to do it because not only do you make an impact on the kids, the kids will have an impact on your life. It will be a day that you will never forget.

Maggie Trychel
 I loved the idea of being able to help young kids though teaching them financial literacy and values vital to life. I had never participated before but I was really excited to this semester because I had heard about it last semester after the event. The most memorable aspect would definitely have to be when we were leaving our class and all of the kids got up and ran to give us hugs goodbye. It was truly such a rewarding moment and experience overall. Yes! I would of course recommend others volunteer, you're helping kids and this elementary school while having a blast teaching and making an impact on their lives. It's such an awesome experience and I would definitely recommend it because I know I'm for sure going back.

Brianna Bubbles Francis-Keane
I heard about Day of Difference through another organization I was a part of a year ago. I really wanted to do it then but I heard that they required training and I didn't think I had the time to commit to be trained. I waited a year and then decided to do it and realized training was only a few hours of one day, not bad at all. This was my first time participating and I loved every second of it. I love working with kids and with all the experience I have working with kids Day of Difference went so smoothly. The highlight of my time working with them was being able to break down the material to them and really trying to teach them to make sure they understood what was going on. I tell as many people as I can about Day of Difference, I think it is an amazing opportunity and it is a great way to give back in a powerful way. You really do form bonds with the children in that short period of time and it is so enjoyable and delightful. My experience was one I wouldn't trade for anything in the world, I had such a wonderful time I'm trying to be a regular volunteer or class mentor for that school now.

Brittany Kroop
 After being at UF for 3 years, I finally had a class schedule with a Friday off that let me volunteer for Day Of Difference. For one day the student becomes the teacher as we go back to elementary school and remember why we loved going to school every day. Recess, library, story time, and fun coloring activities are just a snapshot into my day. After preparing our lessons the day before (I was paired with two AKPsi brothers Alia and Brenda) we walked into our classroom confident and excited to teach our Kindergarten class. I was nervous even though I knew that these kids were just excited to have a new teacher for a day, but I had nothing to be nervous about because the day went swimmingly! Even though the lesson plans are pre-set and everything is supplied via Junior Achievement it was so much fun to be the teacher and interact with the children. My most memorable moment was outside the classroom during playground when a couple of girls took special interest in teaching me ‘hand-clapping’ games. It brought me back to my days in elementary school with my eagerness for knowledge, adventure, and fun. I really hope that my schedule allows me to volunteer next semester because it really is a great experience that helps you grow, and see what it’s like on the other side.

Jele’cia Jae Milton
 What first interested me in Day of Difference was the knowing that I would be giving back to the community that I grew up. Making a difference in a child's life has always been something important to me. Children are our future, so, as an adult we all have to lay a good foundation down for them. I had never participated or even heard of Day of Difference before this year, but I'm definitely glad I participated, because it was fulfilling and quite a memorable. But, the most memorable aspect was when the kids became so attached to me. I ate lunch with them and went to recess. I had four kids literally attached to me because they wanted to hold my hand, so I told two to hold my arms and the other two to hold my hands. Seeing how they looked up to me and wanted me to stay was definitely a great memory to have. This experience is something I'll never forget and I definitely have, and will continue to encourage others to participate. Chances are I will continue to do it for the rest of my years in college.

Kelsey McGuirk
Day of Difference was introduced to me through Alpha Kappa Psi as an opportunity to team up with Junior Achievement to teach at an elementary school for a day. I love tutoring and working with kids to help them learn, so this was a great opportunity for me to give back. I have not previously participated in Day of Difference, but am glad I got to do so this year. The most memorable aspect was being there to witness the class understanding the material that my group and I were teaching. I had the pleasure of teaching a Kindergarten class so even though the children could get rowdy and off focus, it was so much fun to watch them learn the material over the course of the day, and have fun while doing so.  I would definitely recommend volunteering for Day of Difference! It is a lot of fun and a great experience.

Day of Difference takes place every semester: the Fall semester teaches kindergarten through second grade, while spring teaches third through fifth grade.  Day of Difference is at different schools to reach as many elementary students as possible.  We are proud of all the brothers that participated this year and cannot wait until next semester. So, sign up through Enactus for a life changing experience next semester!

-by Brother Gretchen Fisk 

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