"Why I Became a Reading to Kids Volunteer"
When I left NYC for Los Angeles last year I knew it would be several months before I went home to visit and I was okay with that. I said my goodbyes, scheduled Skype dates, and set out on my journey. Just a few months in I started feeling like something was off.
I come from a big family. My father was the youngest of nine, each with two to three kids of their own, many of whom now have one or two kids themselves - and that’s just one side of my family! I was surround by children my entire life, so I never really thought much of it. I mean, making up an elaborate story to explain why a helicopter just flew by is normal, isn’t it?
Suddenly thrust into a world without children, I realized how much I’ve always valued, and how much I missed, their unique and imaginative view of the world. So I set out to find an organization that would help fill that vacancy. I stumbled across one or two before discovering Reading to Kids.
That first day I arrived at Alta Loma Elementary a bit unsure what to expect, but I quickly realized I had found an organization that loved and valued kids as much as I do. The volunteers all seemed like old friends, which made perfect sense since many of them have been participating in Reading to Kids’ monthly readings for years. I quickly felt at ease and eager for the reading to begin.
From the very moment we volunteers went out to meet with our groups the excitement was palpable. Kids called out greetings to volunteers, volunteers joked with kids they’ve known for years, and my favorite part, kids all around us were having animated discussions about books. These kids loved reading and were proud of that fact!
I could tell you how fun the story was (The Three Ninja Pigs); I could tell you how animated the kids became as they told us how they would have handled the big bad wolf if he tried to get into their house; I could tell you about the amazing artistic ability of one of the girls; I could give you a list of details, but it would not be possible to fully encapsulate the emotions and joy of the experience.
|The Three Ninja Pigs craft (Photo by Annika Fenton)|
So instead I will say, if you have been considering volunteering at one of Reading to Kids’ monthly events and hesitating for any reason, just do it!
- Selina Vazquez, Volunteer
If you are interested in sharing your experience with Reading to Kids on our blog, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.