Grateful for skilled volunteers on Tuesdays!
We recently started our fall programs again. That means on Tuesday evenings we have several students in kindergarten through third grade in the classrooms upstairs practicing the skills they need to be proficient readers. Downstairs and/or outside we have fourth and fifth graders practicing social and emotional skills as well as STEAM activities so they can be more well-rounded students and better prepared for middle school when the time comes.
But none of that would be possible without the support of some amazing volunteers!
This year our reading tutors includes three former teachers: a former speech/language specialist, a former reading specialist, and former librarian! The combination of the skills of these women cannot be overstated. They are able to pinpoint specific areas to work on with each student to help them individually as well as areas which the whole group can work on to improve together. They are a phenomenal team!
Meanwhile, our Kids Club is being lead by a team from the UNC School of Arts. We have a professor who brings students from the school to volunteer every year. This year one of the students who came has a passion and experience work working with boys the age of our Kids Club (which, coincidentally, is all boys). He also has experience teaching some of the same skills we are trying to instill in these boys. He, the professor, and other students who come as part of the team, work with the kids in the club each week to plan the activity for the following week, then the team of adults guides the boys to improve in various areas such as communication skills, anger management, and patience... often without them even realizing it (because they're having so much fun learning!).
For example, when the boys said they wanted to have a "soccer party", our leaders said, "Great!". They found a student who played soccer and invited him to come help them for a day. That student taught them some skills, they worked on some drills, and then they played a game together. Meanwhile, they were working on their communication / listening skills, their perseverance when trying something new and challenging, and their ability to cope with disappointment or failure (if they missed a goal or were on the losing team).