Serving in a school is something that has opened my eyes in many ways. I have learned that I take a lot of things for granted.
I did not like going to school when I was in elementary school, but I had friends to talk to, I had a mom to go home to and she helped me with homework. And I never worried about where my next meal would come from.
While serving, I have met students who do not feel like they have friends at school. They do not get help at home, so they struggle a lot in school. I have also sadly met students who worried about their next meal.
I serve most of my time in fourth and first grade. With the help of these teachers, I set up a reading buddy program. In this program the fourth-graders and first-graders meet for 30 minutes each week. The fourth-graders read with the first-graders and help the first-graders learn basic sight words.
Student G in fourth grade is very low in his academics in school. When trying to pair him up with a first-grade buddy, I worried he would not be confident enough to help this first-grader. I thought I would try it anyway, and I am so glad I did.
During the visit I witnessed this fourth-grader open up like he never had before. He was teaching the first-grader how to sound out each word, and he was reading with such enthusiasm. After the meeting, I had each fourth-grader write me a half-page paper on what they did and did not like about book buddies. Student G wrote almost a whole page, of nothing but good experiences. He told me he wanted to keep doing book buddies because it made him feel important.
I didn`t think Student G would enjoy this experience, but he enjoyed it and did so good at it. I loved getting to see him feel important. He now knows he is so important and such a great asset to our school.