SPIRIT Day, Spartan Youth Service’s annual all-day volunteering event, was a great success this year! 195 students participated! SPIRIT Day is very unique, because all Memorial students are allowed to participate, even if they’re not in SYS. On SPIRIT Day, students got assigned to an elementary or middle in the Memorial attendance area or the Lussier Center where they volunteered all day. This year, SPIRIT Day was on Friday, April 21st, and fun was had by all!
Students had to turn in a signed permission slip and a planned absence form beforehand in order to attend. On Friday morning, those participating in SPIRIT Day started coming in around 7:45 to sign-in at a table in the commons manned by wonderful SYS board members, which was where they got their name tag and found out what school they were going to. They then proceeded into the auditorium where they sat with the students who were going to the same school as them. After everyone trickled in and important instructions and directions were given, everyone got on buses to go to the school they were assigned to volunteer at, and the fun began!
If students went to an elementary or middle school, they usually spent the day doing a variety of things such as tutoring and playing games with kids, helping teachers, sorting books in the book room/library, and going to recess! This year, I went to Crestwood, and my favorite part of the entire day was playing four square with the first graders during recess. Four square was my favorite recess activity back when I was an elementary schooler, and I hadn’t played it since then. It was super fun to play with the first graders who were all super cute and very competitive…they quickly made me realize that my four square skills needed some work! Those who went to Lussier also had a great time doing various activities, such as helping out with the food pantry and eating lunch with the seniors.
Before we knew it, the day was over! We got back an hour before school ended, so that people who had sports could leave. Everyone else went back to the auditorium, where we had two guest speakers come in to talk to us about volunteerism. The first speaker was Leslie Orrantia, UW-Madison’s director of community relations. She enlightened everyone with great words about impacting the community and thinking beyond ourselves. The second speaker was Chris Brockel, the executive director of FairShare CSA Coalition. He talked about the effects of disrupting the system and observing how things work, which was super intriguing.
SPIRIT Day was overall amazing and is definitely one of my favorite memories from this year! I can’t wait to do SPIRIT Day again next year, and encourage that those who didn’t attend this year really consider participating next year! It’s a ton of fun and is also a very rewarding experience you’ll never forget!
– Shruti Sathish