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Old 02-28-2008, 07:48 PM   #1
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Tutoring Small Children at School.

Has anyone done or is presently doing this type of volunteer work?

I just started it about two weeks ago. Myself and others read storybooks to yound children attending grades 1 through 6, and we try to get the kids to read on their own with us helping them with the difficult words in the books.

I tutor at least four children. We also mentor older kids age 9 to 10 during their lunch break. They get to come down to the school library to eat lunch and get some help with mentoring.

I'm assigned to one particular little boy who is age 7 who I like very much. I sometimes wish that he was my very own child!! Yesterday, while tutoring him, he decided that he didn't want to read, so he drew insted. He was finishing a drawing that I started for him the day before.

Long story short, in the drawing, he drew some dollar bills on the paper using a green marker. We got into the discussion of which president was on what bill.

He then told me that his grandmother had met the first president! I asked which one. He said Washington. "George Washington?", I asked him. He said, "Yes".

"Are you sure about that?", I asked him. He said yes again! Lauging slightly at him, I said; "Oh, I don't think so. Actually, he couldn't quite remembr exactly who appears on the $1.00 bill. I tried to tell him who it is. I showed him a $5.00 bill to let him see that it's Lincohn on the front.

He disputed me up & down to the utmost, saying that Washington's face is NOT on the $1.00 bill. Then he made a "bet" with me, saying that if Washington isn't on the bill, I owe him $90.00! He even went so far as to grab and shake my hand on it. But I knew that he was just playing around on that part.

I went to try to find out if the coordinator had a $1.00 bill. He didn't, but there was a storybook with a pic of the bill on it. I brought it to the boy.

"Now who is that?", I asked him. I had him spell the name. He did. Then I said to him; "Now, I proved you wrong. You owe me $90.00. Pay up."

He laughed and hugged me. He knew that it was just for fun! But it was all in fun. He made me feel so welcome being in his presence! I almost felt like a kid myself!! That's the closeness I felt with him. He really made my day! He's a very funny little kid!!

Though yesterday wasn't a day that most of the kids wanted to read, this boy made a somewhat boring day seem really special!

I'd love to see these kids do better in their coming school years. It makes me feel good being able to help them!

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Old 02-28-2008, 08:10 PM   #2
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I applaud what you are doing. Kids need someone to read to them and to listen to them.

When my daughter was in middle school, they were on a year-round system. During her off time, she went to the elementary school and listened to 3rd graders read. Several weeks after she started doing this, the teacher told Nancy that one of the boys in class had never ever volunteered to answer any questions, but that after reading to Nancy he had developed the confidence to raise his hand and volunteer answers.

I tried to get the middle school to start a program where more kids would do that. Everyone said it was a good idea, but no one ever did anything about it.

You're doing a great thing.

Barbara
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:23 PM   #3
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Thank you!

Even though I like all the kids there, THIS boy is winning my heart and he really feels comfortable being with me during his tutoring session. At one point, he wanted to go back to class. He must have felt bored.

But he soon opened up and became his normal happy self!

He jumps and plays around afterwards, but he kind of didn't want to go back to his classrom. But he knew that he had to because it was almost time for him to get ready to go home.

He told me that he doesn't like math. I told him that math is part of learning and that I didn't like it either in school.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:26 PM   #4
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As a teacher, I can tell you that volunteers and outside mentors are priceless! They make my job lighter and easier as they (volunteers) can often get kids to do things we can't since they are "just people".

Great job Corey! Keep up the good work (but in the future, never use a kid's name in a public forum - lots of legal reasons ).
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:28 PM   #5
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I thoght about that afterwards. I'll delete his name. Thanks.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:39 PM   #6
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You are doing a great thing, Corey. We never know what kind of home life these children have. You might be the only "real" adult they have in their life. Keep up the good work.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:43 PM   #7
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Thank you!

I DO wish that I could be in their lives more outside the school and be a more positive role model for them.

I hope that they are there for a long time, as I'd be heartbroken if they were to go to another school!

I've always said though, that the children of today are OUR future tomrrow.
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:19 AM   #8
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Actually, if they want to initiate a hug, we are told to accept it, that we shouldn't push them away. We just should let THEM want to do it.

This is what happened with the little boy that I spoke of. He WANTED to do it, so HE was the one who initiated it. The very first day that he met me! He's the only one to have done that so far.

To me, that shows that he trusts me being with him. He reminds me of a man I know who I took care of when HE was HIS age - even before.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:04 PM   #9
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I think that's great what you're doing. I volunteered as a teacher's assistance right after I graduated from college and while looking for a full time job. I was the TA for a sophmore science class and I really had a great time. It almost made me go into teaching. We can't put a price on great teachers. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of a few of my school teachers. Thinking back as an adult, some of them have really made a difference in my life.
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:38 PM   #10
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Thanx!

I really DO feel like a kid again when I'm around the kids! This little boy lifted my spirits that day to great heights! I left the school feeling really good knowing that we were both able to entertain each other and have fun doing it!!

Children can be like a stress reliever for older people. They get a real kick out of the attention they receive.

I hope that he stays there through high school. I want him and all the other kids to remember us for what we are doing for them.
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