Ever since my first year at Friends, I have been volunteering at the Learning Spring Elementary School at the corner of 20th Street and 2nd Avenue. Founded in 2001, the school educates high-functioning children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (HF-ASD). Learning Spring helps children from an early age to gain skills that they need to function in the wider world. During my time volunteering at the school, I have helped out wherever I have been needed, from giving kids a hand at the library to teaching them how to type in the computer lab.
I first found out about Learning Spring shortly after I started at Friends Seminary in tenth grade. Hoping to find out about some of the service opportunities nearby Friends, I met with Rachel Peterson, Friends’ Director of Community Service at the time, and she mentioned that Learning Spring would accept student volunteers. She noted that Friends had a partnership with the Learning Spring whereby children from Learning Spring would periodically come to Friends to play with the children there. Volunteering at Learning Spring seemed like a fascinating and rare opportunity, so with Rachel’s help I quickly established my volunteering relationship with the school. During my time volunteering at Learning Spring, I have been able to help make the lives of some of the school’s children just a little better. My time at the school has also made me more patient and understanding as I have helped the children with their behavioral difficulties and have gotten to know both them and the teachers over the years. I have immensely valued my time volunteering at Learning Spring.