United States

Outreach programs at Nuestra Clinica Update

June 30, 2009

Sarah King Stern

It has been close to a month now since our “Big Sunday” extravaganza! We opened our doors May 30th to the children of Boyle Heights, offering two workshops. Mischa Allen from Up Dog Down Dog Yoga, along with Dominique Salamone provided the children with their first experience with yoga, followed by an art project using recycled materials. Many were the smiles and giggles amidst the room. Ileen, one of our 9yr old participants was so appreciative for the experience that she made me a hand written card:

“thank you Sarah for everything
You did you did a good friend
I love you as a friend thank you”

The grammatical errors made the card just that more special, and I kept it as a remembrance of our very first day at Nuestra Clinica!

Reading Workshop, Art, Toys and Snacks

Our first reading workshop began with the book The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. Volunteers Yvonne Ambriz and her daughter, along with Nancy Kazar helped to put together a wonderful reading and discussion of this timeless piece of children’s literature. The children openly discussed friendships and the benefits of sharing with one another. We then began a sparkling art piece where the children created their very own rainbow fish. Meticulously one by one the children created their fish, one sequin at a time.

Afterwards, we let the children choose from the brand new toys that FOX had donated for the children. The Hannah Montana and High School Musical dolls were a BIG hit!! Snack time is another big hit at the workshops, when asked if any of the children had eaten that morning they all responded “no”. With healthy snacks graciously donated by Whole Foods Market, we were able to ensure that no child left without a full tummy and a big smile.

Health and Fitness with Roz Baker

With the clinic closed this weekend, we were not sure if any children would arrive for our Saturday workshop, when slowly they began to trickle in. We were so pleased to see that Giselle and her sister Monserrat had returned! They had participated in the reading program, the prior weekend and were back for more.

Roz, who has taught classes at our Florence and Western Medical Clinic outreach program, provided the children with a fun filled hour of movement and exercise. The excitement continued as a very large black spider decided to join the fun!

I Like Me

Following Roz’s class, Hannah Stern (RMF youth team) read from the book I’m Gonna Like Me by Jamie Lee Curtis. We then had each child share with the group what they liked about themselves, which was difficult at first, but as the ball got rolling we found that we all have many beautiful things within ourselves.

We then had the children do self-portraits with the Title “I Like Me”, and as you can see we have quite the budding artists in our midst! When our time was up, Giselle told her mother that she was having so much fun that she didn’t want to leave. These are the moments I live for these days: gifts that don’t come in boxes.

A “Big Sunday” Thank You
 By Sarah King Stern

“Dear Sarah,
I want to thank you for letting me be a part of big Sunday. It was great working with you and everyone that was there with us. I had a great time being with everyone on Saturday and Sunday. You are an awesome person. I also got to learn and do something new that I have never done. And I also got to meet and work with new people. And got my community service hours done. Thank you very much for everything I hope I can go and help you guys out some other time. Hope to see you soon. “
–Ana Arredondo

Ana Arredondo is a junior at Taft High School and helped us with the transformation of the community outreach center at Nuestra Clinica. Ana enjoyed the experience so much that she has offered to volunteer her time as a Spanish translator for our weekend classes. It has been so wonderful to bridge the gap of adolescence and adulthood through the experience of giving. I am so excited that she and others have found the magic that I have found in working with Real Medicine.  

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