Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A thousand books

Sometime last year the company I work for sent out an email asking for volunteers who would be willing to read to children once a week for the next school year. I didn't hesitate and signed up within 10 minutes and to my surprise the list of volunteers was almost at capacity! During orientation the school counselor told us that the kids selected for this program can come from single parent homes where parents don't have time to read to them, or from homes where English is a second language and parents may not know how to read or a million other situations where the kids just needed an adult to pay attention to them only, even for just a few short minutes. It would be a 10 month commitment to come to the school during the child's lunch hour and read to them while they ate lunch. I was excited and a little nervous! What if my reader didn't like me?? or wasn't interested in hearing me read?? or wanted to hang out with friends during lunch instead??

First time i met Alessia she was quiet and very shy. Our first reading session went a little awkward.  I didn't know her, she didn't know me but we got through it. The second time, her best friend Paige had to join us because her reader didn't show up that day. And thanks to Paige the ice was broken.  She was the complete opposite of Alessia.  Paige talked non stop, she wanted to know everything about me and she was willing to share everything about herself (that is how i found out that she is half New Jerseyian and half Egyptian) LOL

And since that day i have bonded with the girls and often read to both of them since Paige's reader was somewhat erratic with the schedule.

Last week was our very last session and in honor of the end of the school year and end of this program the school and our foundation threw a pizza/ice cream party for all the kids.  I'm really glad i decided to volunteer and made it through the end.  There were times that i was too busy with work but had to take a break and show up because i knew that someone was waiting for me.  I wish them both well and a wonderful summer and hopefully i'll see them next year, all of us a year older and much wiser.

Alessia & Paige PS 234
June 2012


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