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A Day in Mills Lawn: Kensy Zelaya Sabillon ’21 at Mills Lawn Elementary School

At Mills Lawn Elementary School, the main goal is that students achieve everything with excellence. Mills Lawn School integrates art and science into the curriculum and encourages its students to explore these areas. They make several projects throughout the school year that include the theory they learn in class and how to apply it in the real world.

As a Miller Fellow at Mills Lawn, my job is to assist teachers in the three kindergarten classes that the school has. I help with anything that the teachers need and I also work one-on-one with students that need extra help. My day-to-day experience is interesting because, even though the students and teachers go to school every day, it is never a routine. Every day, I have a new schedule provided by the teachers in which I rotate between the three classes to help students. I also have a lunch duty where I make sure that the kids are safe and help them out if they need something. When the students leave, I usually sharpen pencils and do some cleaning in the classrooms.

Like I said before, Mills Lawn does projects during the year. During my spring co-op term, the teachers were working on their spring projects. Two of the kindergarten classes were learning about aerospace engineering and how to make gliders, while the other class was doing their project on the different professional careers the students want to pursue when they grow up. I helped with the logistics of the projects and provided different ideas for their exhibition night.

I believe that my work in the education field impacts the community directly because all the efforts we make every day in the school help build mentally strong, healthy, and confident future adults. It might not seem very impactful at the moment, but we will make a better world one child at a time. It is amazing knowing I am part of that and am able to encourage the idea that we should learn for fun and not out of obligation. Kids are psychologically affected by their environment or problems at home. It has been a great experience for me looking at the different behaviors that students in a different classroom can have and all of the variables that can affect them even when they are as young as five or six years old. They have their own personality and learn based on everything they see. By being a good example, we are all making a difference in their lives.

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Kensy Zelaya is a first-generation college student, currently an Antioch Miller Fellow at the non-profit organization The 365 Project. She has a self- designed major in International Law, Human Rights and the Political Psychology of Migration.

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