Over the last few weeks I’ve had some amazing opportunities for community service including helping with the Summer Lunch Program in Tulia, as well as getting to help Dr. Darryl Birkenfeld with one of the Playa Festivals in Nazareth, TX. In the summer lunch program I have been able to help children and adults receive free or reduced lunch. I helped with this on two separate weeks.
During these two weeks I was able to help collect numbers for staff at the Tulia ISD. I was able to talk to some of the children around the area about how their summer was going and if they were looking forward to school. In many ways this was very rewarding to be able to help many of hear students to be able to get a meal that they really needed!
At the Playa Festival I was able to help Dr. Berkifeld with some of the set up in Nazareth Tx and the Playa classroom. As well as being able to help collect information for members of the surrounding communities. Who were interested to learn more about playas and water conservation! At the festival I was able to learn so much more about playa ecosystems and many of the native plants and animals that live in these playas. Some of these creatures can only live in areas like playas. Many of these species only come up in certain parts of the playas life cycle. Many of these cycles can and have been simulated by some of the jars that Dr. Berkifeld has used to help children understand more about the playas. Most of the animals that come to the playas are amphibians like Species of frogs, toads, salamanders, and turtles. Some of migrating species of birds have begun to stop in on their migration paths. as well as how recharge occurs first hand on the playa! It was a wonderful experience to learn more about the playas! I was also afforded the ability to learn that some government agency’s are trying to help Farmers and Ranchers to try and restore playas around the Ogallala aquifer.
I love being able to learn through community service. And Ogallala Commons has allowed me the unique opportunity to be able to learning through working in a community. My community service experience has given me a wonderful way to learn about many issues here in the panhandle. As well as being able to explore more about my passions, I’ve always been a firm believer that families should never have to go hungry due to the extenuating circumstances. Being a part of the summer lunch program let me see first hand that many of these families and children were getting out to be able to come and get either a free lunch for kids, or a reduces lunch for adults. and helping with the playa festival helped me to to learn more about how importaint playas are to recharge and the water system. As well as that many Government agency’s are doing their best to help Farmers and Ranchers to rebuild playas that have been damaged!