About Au Pair in America

Au Pair in America is the nation's first legal au pair program. Since 1986, we have provided the best child care opportunities to host families across the US and au pairs from around the world.

April is Community Service Month

Every community needs volunteers. If the children are too young to help at a food pantry or soup kitchen you can simply take a trash bag and clean up a local park to make it more pleasant for everyone. Be sure to wear plastic gloves and don’t touch broken glass.

Au Pairs Working as Santa’s Helpers

Rockledge Elementary had their Annual Holiday Shop on Friday, 12/6. Au Pair in America sponsored the arts & crafts activities: providing the craft supplies as well as some volunteers to assist the children. Four au pairs volunteered: Joanne from Colombia, Pamela from Brazil Ana from Costa Rica and Yuli from Mexico. In addition to being an au pair, Yuli is a professional photographer and she volunteered to take the pictures of the children with Santa.
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Great Day at the Bowie International Festival

I want to thank the au pairs who gave their time on Saturday, October 5 to provide children’s activities at the Bowie International Festival. Here are some photos.

Au Pairs Working as Santa’s Helpers

P1180121Rockledge Elementary had their Annual Holiday Shop on Friday, 12/9.  Au Pair in America sponsored the arts & crafts activities: providing the craft supplies as well as some volunteers to assist the children.  Three au pair volunteered: Alex from Austria, Šárka from the Czech Republic and Sabrina from Germany. The students kept us busy! One of the volunteers, Šárka said,  “I´m glad I was there, it was a nice time with the kids.”

You can see more pictures from the Holiday Shop here in the article on the Bowie Patch.


Global Awareness Contest Winner in our Cluster!

American Institute For Foreign Study has a great educational program called Global Awareness. Global Awareness is designed to promote multi-cultural understanding and appreciation in elementary and middle school classrooms.  Au pairs volunteer in classrooms and other community settings, sharing their culture and language.

There was recently a Global Awareness competition where au pairs were encouraged to share ideas for games and activities from their homeland. Prizes were awarded for the best submissions. 

We have a winner in our cluster…

Flor from Guatemala!

Flor

Anyone who know Flor will probably not be surprised to hear that she won. She is a wonderful cultural embassador and a lot of fun to be around.   Congratulations, Flor!

MLK Day of Service

Monday, January 17, 2011 is the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr Day holiday.

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Dr. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.  Dr. King’s life was devoted to public service.  In honor of his legacy, volunteers across the country donate their time to make a difference on this day.

If you have Monday off, I encourage you to find a volunteer opportunity in your area.  Here are two websites to get you started:

http://www.handsonnetwork.org/

http://mlkday.gov/

My Plans for Monday
I have spoken to my kids about what they would like to do on Monday.  We have decided to go grocery shopping for donations for the Bowie Food Pantry  and to prepare casseroles for Sarah’s House, a homeless shelter on Ft. Meade.  If I get some good pictures, I will post them next week.

If any of you (au pairs or host families) get photos from service projects you do, please send them to me, so I may share them.

 

Update:  Here is a picture of my kids outside the store after our trip to the grocery store to buy donations for the food pantry. We didn’t end up making our casseroles for the shelter that day, so that will be a project for another time.

mlk day shopping

Fantastic Day at International Festival

We participated in the City of Bowie International Festival at Allen Pond Park on Saturday, October 2, 2010.  We had beautiful weather, fabulously talented au pairs and lots of eager children ready to try our activities.  Some of our activities were: painting flags on the children’s hands, creating beaded bracelets,  doing geography games and showing people how to write their names in Thai.

Below are some photos.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get pictures of everyone who helped at the event.  We had a very busy time with lots of kids coming through and I wasn’t able to get photos of some of the volunteers in the middle of the day.

Disney Give a Day. Get a Disney Day FREE!!!

I recently found out about a very exciting program that is a win-win situation.  I am a firm believer in volunteerism.  Giving your time and talents to a worthy cause is a very rewarding experience and can help do so much good in the community.  Disney has a great program to thank people for giving time to organizations in their community.  Please read an overview below and go to their website for complete information and to sign up.
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Program Overview (from the Disney website)
We want to inspire one million people to volunteer a day of service to a participating organization in their communities. So we’re celebrating these volunteers’ good works by giving each of them a 1-day, 1-theme park ticket to the Disneyland® Resort or Walt Disney World® Resort, free. There’s no better time to make a dream come true for others and let us make a few come true for you.
You must pre-register and sign up through this site to volunteer and complete your service at an eligible volunteer opportunity in the fifty United States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico or Canada to receive a ticket after verification of such service. Ticket quantities for this program are limited. You must be at least 18 to sign up. You may only sign up a maximum of 8 members of your household. Children must be at least 6 to participate in the program. One ticket per person, regardless of the number of times you volunteer. Program begins January 1, 2010 and continues until tickets are distributed or until December 15, 2010, whichever occurs first. Your voucher for a free ticket must be redeemed by December 15, 2010, and used on the same day of redemption.

Other terms and conditions apply. See complete Program Terms & Conditions and FAQs.

We Made Nearly 600 Sandwiches for the Homeless!

Yesterday, we had a cluster meeting where au pairs gave their time to prepare sandwiches for the homeless.  We were joined by a few moms and cub scouts from Pack 403.  Thank you to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church for allowing us to use the parish hall.  Together, we were able to make almost 600 sandwiches!!! These sandwiches are going to the DC Central Kitchen to feed homeless people in Washington, DC.

I want to thank everyone who showed up, brought bread, made sandwiches and helped us surpass my initial goal of 400 sandwiches.

Here are a few photos.

First two au pairs to arrive getting right to work.

First two au pairs to arrive getting right to work.

Sandwiches, sandwiches, sandwiches

Sandwich assembly line

Having fun making sandwiches

Having fun making sandwiches

Many hands make light work.

Striking a fun pose after all that hard work.

Group Photo with our Finished Sandwiches

Group Photo with our Finished Sandwiches

At least once per year, we have a cluster meeting that is a service project.  Some of our past volunteer/community service events include:

  • DC Help the Homeless Walk
  • Bowie International Festival
  • Preparing lunches for Habitat for Humanity
  • Donating items to children affected by Hurricane Katrina
  • Working at Silver Diner to raise money for Tsunami Relief
  • Wrapping gifts for needy children

A Year of Learning and Giving

800px-AustralianflagatnewportHere is a great article about an Au Pair in America EduCare Companion from Australia named Amy Hart.

It talks about her experiences here in the U.S. as well as the volunteer work she has done in her community.

A Year of Learning and Giving