Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hoping to Help

This semester I was involved in two different volunteering capacities: working with the literacy program at an elementary school and tutoring/mentoring an 8th grade girl through a program at Eastern Avenue Church.  Sadly, they both came to an end last week, probably forever.  I just won’t have time in my schedule next year to fit those two activities in.  I’m actually really disappointed that I won’t be able to tutor anymore, because I thoroughly enjoyed my girl, Ciara.  She was a joy to see every week, and we’re still going to work something out to see each other every so often.  Maybe some Jersey Junction ice cream, maybe some games of Scrabble…we’ll think of good stuff to do.

We had a lot of fun together this year.  If I didn’t have to take a Thursday night class all next year, I would definitely be doing it again.  I felt like I was really able to give her some solid study tips, listen to her when she needed to talk about her life, give some advice, and overall really make an impact.  That’s not a feeling I’ve had often, and it felt good.  She definitely made a difference in my life too.  She showed me her artwork, encouraged me to find the silly things in life and laugh about them, and reminded me that life is about more than just myself.

My time at the kindergarten literacy program was also a great experience.  I went to the elementary school every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:30-11:15 and read with small groups of kindergarteners.  I was so pleased to see the progress some of them made.  At the beginning, none of them wanted to read aloud, and only a couple of them knew any words by sight.  By the end of the semester, all my kids could read at least a handful of words, and could sound out many others.  Their confidence in their reading and their enjoyment of it had shot up.  And I got to be a part of that!  Plus, I got tons of hugs and was told over and over every time I went “I love you Miss Emily!”  What more could a girl ask for?  Here I am with my two reading groups, and then with other kids in the class who loved on me just as much as my reading group kids.

Posted by Emily MacLeod on 05/13 at 10:13 PM

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