Sunday, April 20, 2008

CE Proves To Be Truly Rewarding

Working with our CE groups has proved to be a truly rewarding experience. A particular 'Ah-Ha' moment that stuck out for me was when we were talking about different types of community service projects the kids could create. Each student was throwing out different ideas of problems in our community when one student suggested the problem of not enough places to shop for designer clothes. Another student politely raised her hand and in the nicest way she possibly could, reminded her peers that we are trying to focus on community needs, not community wants. She proceeded to explain that while it would be nice to have more places to shop for designer clothes, that is not something that our community needs in order for the members to survive. Quite a few of the students, including the student that made the suggestion for more designers clothing stores immediately had that "Ah-ha" look on their faces and from then on out were able to successfully identify needs in the community instead of their personal wants.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Little Things

Each morning, Alex comes running into our room, smiling ear to ear. He’s a kindergartener with so much energy that he tends to find himself in trouble more often than not. He can’t keep his hands off things and when he breaks down, screams reverberate off the walls and down the hall, or fists and forearms smash down on tables. Moving foster homes frequently will do that to a kid, it seems. So, when we get a chance to work with Alex and show him that someone really does care about him succeeding, we take advantage of it.

He comes every morning to our early reading club, and he laughs, talks, and seems to enjoy himself the whole time he’s there, usually, because he knows that we truly care about him. Seeing him finally be happy in school when we walk into his classroom or when he comes to visit us throughout the day helps us see just how important WRC members are. It's unfortunate that children with tons of energy like Alex are sometimes stifled and forced to live by rules no one has taken the time to explain to them in elementary terms. Alex is doing better in class now, and I’d like to think that we played a role in making him finally feel welcome in his school.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Closing Out the Year and Looking Forward to the Next One

As we wind this year down, the Washington Reading Corps in the Bremerton School District is looking forward to several projects we are trying to complete.
  1. Community service projects-Armin Jahr and Naval Avenue are leading a group of Mountain View Middle School students in a curriculum that helps them design their own community service project. View Ridge and West Hills are working with a group of fifth-graders from West Hills to help them create and implement their own project, too. Updates on both of these projects will come soon.
  2. Cementing solid programs for next year-A large part of being successful in a school setting is establishing consistent programs that teachers and students can rely on each year. All of our focus is dedicated right now to making sure that each tutoring program we run is as solid as it can be so that the members and volunteers who will dedicate their time next year can be successful from the first day of the school.
  3. Family nights-Although there are less than three months of school left, the Washington Reading Corps is dedicated to making sure that families are involved in their children's learning at school. By providing parents with an opportunity to get involved, students can receive the support they need at home to improve in the classroom. Check out our calendar to see what events we have planned as we close out the year.
Yeah, to say the least, our work is cut out for us. We look forward to sharing what we're doing with you as we continue to strive toward the goal of providing the support that all our students need to be successful.