Friday, February 24, 2006



Im a strong believer in giving back to your community. Living in a small town ( or in my case, a village), its slow paced. Everyone knows everyone and everyone else's business, but its nice sometimes, too. Our school is small and welcome parent volunteers. Im fortunate to be able to help at my daughters' school volunteering when they need me.

On Mondays, I volunteer with the Ohio Reads program. This is a program that lets volunteers come in and read with or to kids ( K-5) that may need help. Im assigned to Miss Dixon's morning kindergarten class. These kids make me giggle. You never know what is going to come out of their mouths. The teacher has a basket of books for me that she's picked out and I like to take books that were my daughters' favorites once in awhile, too. But, without fail, I usually wind up reading the same 4 books over and over. Repetition is good at this age, right??? I hope they enjoy me coming as much as I enjoy being there. By the way, I must pick up Alphabet Mystery for myself because Ive learned to like it as much as they do.

For the past 2 months on Fridays, Ive been helping with the SWAT program. The State of Ohio has a horrid standardized test that they inflict upon 3rd, 4th ( of which my oldest daughter is in) and 5th graders called the State Achievement Test. Our school has implemented the SWAT program with the help of teachers, aides and volunteers to work in small groups and break down parts of the test to prepare the kids. Its been a fun, learning experience. Im assigned to Mrs. Russ' 4th grade class ( NOT my daughters class, because in her words, that would just be "weird"). They are a great bunch of kids. The section that I helped with was the Comic Strip math, aka story problems. Now, I was never a fan of math in school and NEVER fan of story problems, but the kids and I had a great time working them out. I had a cheat sheet with the answers, but I never used it. I had more fun working it out WITH them. I hope they saw that having the answers and working them out are two different things. Today was my last day helping with them. EVERY one of them thanked me and it really meant a lot ot me. Im going to miss my Fridays with them.

I feel so grateful that maybe I touched the lives of one of the many kids I have worked with just in my volunteering.

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