Liz Guerrant, Elementary Intern at Munger Place
Hey guys, my name is Liz Guerrant! I am originally from a small town in Oklahoma called Antlers and I now attend Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana where I study sociology. This was my first year with Project Transformation, and I had the privilege of serving as an Elementary Intern at Munger Place with eighty of the most spirited and bright children I have ever met.
When I was younger, my parents bought me four small plastic chairs and a chalk board. I would fill the chairs with my favorite stuffed animals and make my family refer to me as “Miss. Liz” while I taught my stuffed animals the alphabet and about how many legs a cat had. Now, many years later, those four small plastic chairs have been replaced with eighty, the stuffed animals replaced with energetic elementary students. I no longer have to instruct my family members to call me “Miss. Liz” because I hear those words roughly ten thousand times a day.
As my summer at Project Transformation winds down, I realize just how much I love being in the whirlwind of chaos and love what these children have brought to my life. When I am asked what my job consists of, “teaching children at a summer program” seems vague, undescriptive, and hardly begins to explain the amazing experiences I have each day. Each day, I comfort the six-year-old who is upset because he wanted the red crayon when he got the purple, calm down the fifth grade boy who doesn’t understand why screaming isn’t the best way to solve a problem, allow myself to be a human jungle gym, and let the group of ten-year old-girls put my hair into some stylin’ pig tails. No two days at site this summer have been the same. The love, acceptance and excitement that I feel in the presence of these children is irreplaceable, and quite honestly, indescribable.
One day, my coworker David and I taught the 2nd and 3rd grade group about gardening and subsistence agriculture by growing green bean plants. When we revealed the sprouted seeds to the children, I asked them what helped the seeds to sprout and grow. Immediately, they began shouting, “They need soil, water and air!” But one of the children raised his hand, and said, “They need love to grow, right Miss?” The answer took me aback for a minute, partly because I’m fairly certain this was the first sentence I had ever heard him say aloud. In a way, I think that this little boy’s answer is accurate for Project Transformation. We need love to grow. The same way that my coworkers and I offer our hearts to the children we serve, the children offer theirs back to us. So when people ask me what my job here at Project Transformation means, I guess “love” is a pretty accurate answer. These rambunctious, crazy, out-of-the-box elementary students have opened my heart and shown more love than I have ever known and I wouldn’t trade my summer here for anything.