On a lovely morning in late spring, we walked a half-mile from school to Beth Israel Synagogue, where the kids’ jaws dropped when Rabbi Katz uncovered a Torah scroll – and then chanted a passage from it. We walked next to nearby Meriter Hospital where Monica Messina (parent of one of our students) led several activities, such as changing diapers on full-size baby dolls, that she taught to expectant parents at the hospital’s birthing center.
We caught a public bus north to where Park Street ends at the University of Wisconsin campus on the shore of Lake Mendota to visit the Hoofers who have their facilities under Park Street – the kids loved their boat ride and practicing sailing skills in small boats on land.
At the Bayview Foundation, we interviewed Nancy Giffey who had worked with children to make a mural representing the many ethnicities of their families living at Bayview Apartments. In the adjacent small park, we met Raul De Luna who taught us how to play Bocce, a game played by the Sicilian immigrants who settled this land a century ago.
A parent who worked at UW Space Place hosted us there for the rest of the afternoon until after breakfast the following morning. We saw their exhibits, had a family potluck, and listened and danced to the music of Mexico Lindo, a mariachi band. Just before dusk, we walked on the bike path along Wingra Creek to the dam at the edge of Lake Wingra, observed people fishing, and interviewed a fisherman.