Over the course of the project I definitely became more engaged in the topic as I learned about it. I realized that this wasn’t just a regular assignment and that I actually wanted to contribute to Reading Partners. I learned how many problems stemmed from the one issue of illiteracy and how they could be fixed if children were taught how to read. This solution seemed really simple and I think that through the help of Reading Partners so many of New York’s problems can be solved and the future of many kids can become more promising. Over the course of the project I developed presentation making skills. I was also able to significantly improve my connection with the audience from the first presentation to the last presentation. This project made my group learn how to work as a team. We all are very unique people with strong personalities and opinions and we had a few disagreements. By the second presentation we were able to unite because we realized it was the only way to achieve our mutual goal.
The aspect that I found most challenging was learning how to make eye contact and connect with the people who we were presenting to. Lack of eye contact was the fault in our first presentation and it caused us to get a bad grade. By the second presentation our communication became one of our strong points and enabled us to move on to the final round. I found the site visit to be the most rewarding because it gave me the satisfaction of seeing Reading Partners at work and because it united us together as a team. I would say that the site project was the point where we realized that the cause that we were fighting for was more important than our bickering. It was really interesting to see how efficient and effective the curriculum of reading partners was and how the determined the leaders were to make a difference in the lives of these kids. Even though we didn’t win the 5,000 dollar grant towards Reading Partners we realised that we could still remain engaged with the organization. We have decided to have a book drive at school so that we can supply Reading Partners with much needed books. Overall, I think the YPI service was a great project that taught me the importance of literacy and how to work in a group with other people.