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Read-In, For Inspiration

Posted By Guest Blogger Joe Mayo, Tuesday, February 26, 2019

 

On October 31, 2018, the San Diego Lawyers Club’s Community Outreach Committee (COC) and San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association (SDLRLA) conducted the Halloween Read-In at Central Elementary, a pre-kindergarten through 5th grade school located in the heart of City Heights. San Diego Lawyers Club has a twenty-three-year Read-In partnership with Central Elementary, where students are among the most economically challenged in the district. This year’s Halloween Read-In event featured numerous memorable costumes and volunteers included many San Diego Lawyers Club members, SDLRLA members, judges, law students, and San Diego City Attorney, Mara Elliott. Both the Halloween and Spring Read-Ins are influential events, where volunteers serve as role models, and provide an opportunity for students to learn about different careers while inspiring them to dream big.

 



This was my first Read-In and I was placed in Mr. Lou’s second grade class. I was paired with Attorneys Danielle Ward and former Lawyers Club President Kate Kowalewski. Danielle read from a book with wide-eyed children looking on with wonder as she pointed to various characters in the book and read out loud. I was moved to see how receptive the children were to Danielle’s reading.

After Danielle read the book, Mr. Lou conducted a mock trial, based on a patent case involving magic wands. Kate acted as the judge as Danielle made her case as plaintiff’s counsel that a student’s wand with a yellow star was copied by another student who had a wand with a blue star. Kate’s evenhanded judging and Danielle’s civil approach echoed San Diego’s courteous legal climate. Just to be clear, I appealed the decision brought down by the jury—a real travesty!

Also, I was touched to see how interested the students were as Mr. Lou went between the two students and explained each step of the trial in terms the youngsters could understand. Lawyers use a lot of big words—who knew?! At any rate, Mr. Lou is an awesome teacher and is the kind of teacher that changes lives and makes a real difference in our society. This event affirmed my belief that teachers like Mr. Lou deserve to be valued highly in our society.

I saw the young lady that was on my side of the patent case outside the school after the event was over. I told her that she did a great job and that she could do anything she wanted if she worked hard. This is one of the best events I have ever attended and am thankful to have been given the opportunity to make an impact on the students.

Mark your calendar for the Spring Read-In on Friday, March 1, 2019 – register here if you wish to participate. In the interim, COC will continue to provide much-needed basic school supplies to Central Elementary through a school supply donation drive and email lc.communityoutreachc@gmail.com to participate in that effort.


Here are some pictures from the event:

 

 

 

Joe Mayo is patent agent at ARC IP Law, PC, a member of San Diego Lawyers Club’s Community Outreach Committee, and is First Man of Lawyers Club 2018-19.

 

Tags:  Central Elementary  civility  Community Outreach Committee  education  mock trial  read-in  San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association  teacher 

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