Monday, November 25, 2013

Guest Post by Volunteer, Soyoon Choo

"Sports, Fun, and Games!"

I love all twelve themes of the reading clubs, but November’s College Spirit Month is in my Top 3 favorites. Could there be a better way to plant the seeds of college interest and introduce students to diverse schools beyond high school? As Reading to Kids volunteers, we are the kids’ ambassadors to a bigger world outside the boundaries of their family and schools. It’s also a fun opportunity for volunteers to dust their school gear out of the closet and wear it with pride – as for myself; I have more school spirit on this day than on any USC football game!

Volunteers show off their college gear.
At Los Angeles Elementary School where I regularly volunteer, besides the usual California schools there were many volunteers representing colleges outside the west coast. My reading partner was a college student who was also a Los Angeles Elementary alumnus!

The first grade book and craft supplies.
As usual, we had a bundle of crafty joy ready for our first graders, thanks to our amazing GLCs (Grade Level Coordinators). We also had Autumn & Thanksgiving themed stickers, which were perfect for our post-reading craft time, during which the kids made colorful hand-Turkeys and drew their own Thanksgiving dinner table.

The best part of the day for me was when a student who has been long attending the reading clubs encouraged a first timer to come out to next month’s club. I’ve met several shy kids and it is amazing to see the change and growth every month: watching them begin to use “big words”, become actively engaged in the book and our discussions, and watching as they become Reading to Kids’ own little ambassadors to their peers. At every reading club, I further discover how meaningful the reading clubs are to me and to the kids, and how volunteering is contributing to a greater cause.

Soyoon Choo proudly shows off her certificate for volunteering 10 times!
This month was particularly meaningful for me, as I received my Outstanding Volunteer – Ten Saturday Mornings certificate! It is hanging proudly on my fridge and reminds me how much I love to be part of this amazing community. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Reading to Kids for not only enriching the kids, but also my life as well. Here’s to ten plus more amazing Saturdays to come!

-Soyoon Choo, Volunteer and Special Events Committee Co-Chair

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