When I signed up for volunteering with a third grade classroom during their library time I first thought it would be an easy, fun way to finish my service. I didn’t think of it as too big of a commitment, only as something to do once a week surrounded by something I enjoy: reading. I showed up on the first day and was immediately thrown into working with a whole group of eight year olds who were complete strangers to me. I sat down in one of the child sized chairs as Constance the librarian taught the lesson about books in different cultures around the world. I was hesitant to talk to them, not wanting to seem imposing or condescending.
Constance asked me to read to them one day, and I found myself getting nervous as I read a riddle book. I reminded myself that they were just third graders. They weren’t judging me. They sang songs in front of each other and weren’t embarrassed about it. Before I read the book a few of the girls came up and clung onto me, and I realized that I was really happy volunteering with these kids. I was making library time easier for Constance while enjoying myself and getting to help out. I would recommend my favorite books to them and talk to them about authors.
I took on a leadership position when I volunteered with the third grade class and I discovered that I could be a leader, even if it was only with eight year olds. I can look back at this experience as a lesson for the future.