This year I volunteered with Reading Partners ( http://readingpartners.org )at PS 188 for the third year and I had a really great experience. I have really enjoyed working with the students and seeing them improve over the course of the year. I worked primarily with a six year old student named Guadalupe who went from barely knowing the alphabet to reading short stories over the course of the school year. Reading Partners creates a fun learning environment for struggling students to improve their reading and comprehension skills, and the students seem to genuinely enjoy it. I look forward to tutoring with Reading Partners again next year!
This summer I volunteered at the same senior House as last year. This time around, however, I switched between two addresses, depending on which place needed regarding if the respective places needed a helping hand. Like last year, I would go to the senior House during the morning hours—9 am to 12am usually.
However, rather than playing the piano as background music for the elderlies, I engaged in more physical work. This included helping out in the kitchen and doing general labor. In one place, there was only one person managing over 30 elders, and my help helped relieve some of the burden on his shoulder.
I do not regret forming relationships with the older people around me, as I still recognize some of them from the past year. They truly have some amazing stories to tell.
This summer in particular, I got to appreciate the value of labor and how defeated our society would be if we didn’t have people working on these kind of jobs. I learned that labor requires focus, precision, and dedication. I began to think of tasks such as cleaning my room or miscellaneous chores as helping me to prepare for the future. Because I know that when I’m living by myself in the future it’s important to be organized with everything, otherwise you will fall apart on the inside.
I also have to say that he food they provided during lunch was amazing. The senior House orders food from a company that specializes in making Chinese food. I was never let down when I went there every Saturday.
Volunteering at the senior House taught me how to be organized, attention to detail, and a deeper gratitude to those who work labor jobs every day. The lasting relationships I had with the kitchen staff and with the elders has been very inspiring. I hope to go back next year. Even if I don’t, I would have taken the values given to me there and have applied them to other situations in the future.
This year I volunteered with Reading Partners at PS 188 for the second year, and I had a really great experience. I have really enjoyed working with the students and seeing them improve over the course of the year. Reading Partners creates such a fun learning environment for struggling students to improve their reading skills, and the students seem to genuinely enjoy it. I look forward to tutoring with Reading Partners again next year!
This year I tutored at Reading Partners (http://readingpartners.org) at PS 188 The Island School. My experience with Reading Partners taught me the importance of offering help to those in need for no charge and I am thankful to have been apart of this program. I tutored several first and second graders weekly over the course of the year and it was highly rewarding to see their progress over time. As a young student, I dreaded reading and viewed it as a chore and a task that just had to be completed, so I feel that it’s my duty to make reading an exciting and enjoyable experience for struggling beginners. I’m proud of what the students that I have worked with have learned this year and I hope to continue my volunteer work with Reading Partners in the future.
Kids Helping Kids is an activity at Friends in which high school students visit the crisis nursery at the Foundling Hospital. The foundling nursery is a place for young children to go for temporary housing when they have no other options. Often times these children have parents who are in the hospital or jail, and they have no other relatives or close friends to take care of them. A few of my friends and I made weekly trips to the crisis nursery to play and interact with these kids. Before my first visit, I was expecting to meet disturbed children who come from such terrible backgrounds, that they could not possibly act similarly to the young children I know. The first time I walked into the nursery room, I was greeted by smiles and waves from the three children, all of them playing with cars and trucks as any “normal” kid would. I started to play with them and quickly found that although these children come from families that are struggling, that does not make them any less capable of being loving, caring, interesting, smart, and overall amazing human beings. The fact that they have had a somewhat unconventional upbringing doesn’t make them so different from the rest of us. During one of my visits, I was spending some time with a five year old boy named Omar. He was the first kid to ever talk to me about why he was at the crisis nursery. He was telling me all about his mom, and how he was drawing of these pictures for her that showed everything he and his brother Miguel were doing, and that she would see them all when she gets out of the hospital. Omar was brought up surrounded by love, and he himself has so much love to spread throughout the rest of the world. The experience of meeting and talking to these kids has allowed to grow, and learn that it’s not okay for me to hear the terms “struggling families” and “no place to go,” and automatically assume that those people are so different from me. I went in thinking that I was going to be “helping and teaching” these kids because they were so “troubled” but after my visits, it felt as though I was always the one who learned something.
On April 19th I decided to come into school on a Saturday to help out with the Friends big FAT service day. Immediately I found my self working with others in maintaining the tolerance garden in Stuyvesant park. First we weeded the plants and picked up any little pieces of trash we found, and then we added mulch to the soil to help the flowers grow. After a couple long hard hours working we were all treated to lunch by the school, and afterwards I spent some time decorating cards for Birthday in a box.
It made me incredibly happy to help make a small part of our city even more beautiful by helping maintain the flowers in Stuyvesant park. It was also quite satisfying to help make a few children’s birthdays slightly happier even if they are less fortunate than I am.