Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Note from our Ameri-Corp Member- Cynthia Orozco!

As the Literacy*AmeriCorps member for Reading to Kids, I have had the pleasure of working closely with two of our organization’s partner schools: Esperanza Elementary School during regular class hours and Leo Politi Elementary School for after-school homework help.

I have worked directly with students for the last eight months, and it has been incredible to see the many accomplishments of my students! I have students who are beginning to read when, at the beginning of the year, they were unable to recognize the letters of the alphabet. Many students have really improved on their English language skills and vocabulary. One of the best moments is when a child exhibits real enthusiasm for reading. Many of the students I work with really struggle with reading, and it isn’t particularly fun to read a book when you don’t understand the words in front of you. So when I see a student get excited about reading a new book or a student who begins to attend our reading clubs frequently, I can’t help but feel proud for that student and proud to serve the community.

I am constantly amazed and inspired by the students. I love to talk about current events and social problems with the older students. Most recently, the 5th graders at Politi and I had a great discussion about the recent earthquakes, comparing the big earthquakes in Haiti and Chile and contemplating the problems California would face in the event of an earthquake of a similar magnitude. The kids all have great ideas, experiences, and knowledge to share, and I encourage all of the volunteers at the reading clubs to keep the conversations flowing! It’s a great way for the kids to develop language and communication skills, and I guarantee they have a thing or two to teach you as well!

I look forward to seeing everyone at the June Reading Clubs! There is a really great selection of books for the month's "Super Heroes and Super People" theme that should make for some great discussion!