Wednesday, May 18, 2011

everybody wins!

this year i was lucky enough to be connected to the everybody wins non-profit organization. when an email was sent out at work about needing volunteers, some coworkers and i signed up immediately and couldn't wait to get involved with the power lunch program at a local elementary school. power lunch is "a lunchtime literacy and mentoring program that brings groups of adult volunteers into low-income elementary schools for one-on-one read aloud sessions with students".

i got paired with a 5th grade boy and i would go each week during my lunch break to read books with him. the kids that are chosen for the program usually have to meet the following requirements: they need help with reading, they need to improve reading comprehension, and/ or they need a good mentor. my kid and i hit it off immediately and have had such a great time together. his reading has really improved and based on the smile on his face when he sees me (while trying to still act cool in front of his peers), i think the program was really successful for us both! since the year is almost up and he's a 5th grader, it's almost time to say goodbye which breaks my heart. tomorrow is the lunch to celebrate the end of the year and i really will miss him.

it shocked me to learn that most of the kids in the program had probably never had an adult sit with them and take time to read to them one-on-one. it is said that children are made readers on the lap of their parents. it's so easy to forget that not all kids have parents that can give them the attention and time to sit down and read. i don't even have any children yet but i have a huge children's book collection already (granted my best friend was a child's librarian for years)! my best friend was telling me a while back that there is a phenomenon where once children can read on his/her own, parents stop taking the time to sit down and read together which makes reading less fun so kids start to dislike reading. that makes me so sad. i hope that when we have kids, we always take time to read together (in living room forts preferably) and enjoy storytelling. this hopefully shouldn't be too hard since i enjoy reading so much and it is a big part of my life.

anyways, i hope that if there is a child in your life that you take the time to read with them. next year i'll be paired with a new child and hope that i can maybe brighten his/ her day and future through reading together. i really am going to miss kc - he's been an inspiration to me and i feel lucky to know him.

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