The Day of Gratitude event was truly a pleasant experience! It was so wonderful seeing all the children play with the board games and crafts. You could tell how much they enjoyed themselves, with the bright smiles on their faces. I'm really glad I was able to partake in this event and it really helped relieve the stress for my upcoming assessments. Thank you for the opportunity!
Rochelle Salvador - Chapman University student, studying on the Arcadia in London program.
This semester we were delighted to host our first Day of Gratitude event, which came about due to a generous donation from an Arcadia Trustee, who donated funds that allowed us to work in partnership with a local charity, to create an opportunity to bring students together for an afternoon meeting the locals and making a difference!
For our Day of Gratitude event, we decided to team up with local charity Dragon Hall to develop a fun packed Easter themed afternoon for the children who attend their after school club.
Dragon Hall is located just a few minutes walk from the Arcadia London Center and offer opportunities for social, educational and recreational activities developed for and by members of the local community. The after school club they run is free for the children to attend, but due to recent cuts in funding they depend heavily on support, donations and local partnerships to be able to continue. It was great that we were able to get involved and support the work of this local charity through the Day of Gratitude.
The Day of Gratitude event kicked off at the Arcadia London Center, where we held a thank you pizza lunch for the students taking part. This allowed an opportunity for students across programs to meet and get to know each other before heading over to Dragon Hall, where we would spend the rest of the afternoon.
On arrival at the after school club there were twenty smiling and excitable ten year olds, keen to engage with the students and the activities they had brought along. The arts & crafts table was a big winner, with the children making Easter gifts to take home to friends and family. A few of the students also ended up being the recipients of these gifts from the children and now have some quality Easter artwork to take home with them.
Arcadia in London students Erin Schofield (Arcadia University student) & Courtney Edwards (University of Illinois Urbana) introduced the classic pen and paper game MASH at the crafts table, which if the amount of laughing that was heard is anything to go by, I am sure will become a regular activity at the after school club.
Other activities included board games, table tennis and table football. Megan Burch & Emily Rusack (Arcadia University students currently studying on the First Year Study Abroad Program) took the lead in organizing an Easter egg hunt for the children, which was the perfect ending to the afternoon.
There are lots of people to thank for the success of our first Day of Gratitude event. A huge thank you to the students who volunteered to take part and the trustee who kindly supported the event. The students acted as fantastic ambassadors for Arcadia & their home universities. Finally, we are very grateful to Dragon Hall for inviting us to be a part of the incredible work they do and we look forward to returning again soon.
I just wanted to say a huge thank you from Dragon Hall, the young people really enjoyed the session as well as all the new equipment. The volunteers showed a great ability to engage with the young people, they were approachable, aware and inclusive. The young people gave good feedback and were happily sent home with a sugar high from all your Easter eggs. Thank you again!
Keeley Reed - Dragon Hall, Coordinator