Thursday, April 30, 2009

Vote for Zoo-Mates!

True Hero is an organization that rewards money to deserving student service projects based on votes from the community.

Please click this link to vote for Zoo-Mates!

Funding from this award will allow the Zoo-Mates program to continue to connect students experiencing homelessness with strong, positive college student mentors!

Voting ends June 30th. Spread the news among your friends and family!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Field Day!

For our final Zoo-Mates outing at the kids' school, we had a wonderful Field Day, organized by volunteers from the Junior League. After a gray and cold week, we were all excited to run around in the bright sunshine and play a bunch of fun games!

It takes cooperation to get untangled from the Human Knot.

Everyone loves bubbles!

The wind did most of the work for us!

The day was full of SMILES!

How did a star-shaped bubble wand make a heart-shaped bubble?!

We also played some games with hula hoops. These kids know how to move!

One silly game was the Dress Up Relay Race. One player from each team got dressed in oversize clothes and raced to the end of the field and back. Then the next player had to put on the clothes and run. We laughed a lot watching our friends race around in those huge pants!

An energetic game of duck-duck-goose!

Jumping rope!

Watching the excitement from the sidelines.

We never realized that our Zoo-Mates mentees are gymnasts! They were flipping and balancing and hanging from the jungle gym!

Simon Says pat your head!

In another challenge, we tried to balance candy on a spoon while zig-zagging through a line of trees. Luckily, both winners and losers got to eat the candy at the end!

At the end of the day we decorated duffle bags and ate a snack of yummy clementines.

THANK YOU so much to our new friends from the Junior League! We loved all of the games you organized for us and were so happy to spend an energetic and sunny day together!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Free Day at the Zoo!

This week we visited the Zoo for the last time. Luckily, the day was lovely and we were able to explore for the entire afternoon.

Our first adventure was to ride the train through the Zoo.

The conductor even let some of us blow the whistle! It was LOUD!

Some folks rode the train two or three times!

We also visited some of our favorite animals, like the flamingos.

The gorillas.

And the rhinos.

The polar bears were eating their lunch.

The cockatoo sat on his tree branch, enjoying a pleasant spring day. When he talked it sounded like a radio!

Two elephants. Can you tell the difference?!

Observing the other Zoo-Mates in their natural habitat.

The Cincinnati Zoo is also a botanical garden.
Tulips of every color were in full bloom throughout the park!

We have a lot of decisions to make. Better check the map!

Mentors, mentees, and manatees...

Come out! Come out!

What does a rhino feel like?

The carousel was closed, so we needed a new plan. Let's go see the wolves!

Our day at the Zoo was fun, relaxing, educational, and a great chance to spend time together.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Diana's Mentoring Experience

I learned about ZooMates from a friend who lived in the CCE house last year and at the Cincinnatus orientation. He gave positive feedback about the program, and the video at the orientation was interesting. This is my first year in the program. It has definitely been a learning experience. Unfortunately, my first mentee was loss from the program after the first two meetings. The most rewarding part of getting to know her was that I've made some impact on her life in such a short period of time. Fortunately, I was given a new mentee. I'm blessed to be able to further my relationship with her and make a positive impact on her life. This year, "family groups" were incorporated into the program where each mentor/mentee pair has 4 other pairs who they typically stay with; so not only do we get to know our mentee, we're able to impact the other mentees in our group too. I've been having a great time and hope that I can continue ZooMates throughout my college career!
-- Diana Nguyen, freshman, pre-Nursing