See when I was invited to join In the arena, I had so many projects in mind. One of those was to create a program in which kids felt welcome and secure. A space and time where they could call theirs.
I'm so happy to say that the after school tutoring program provides that and more to the kids we work with four days a week.
The tutoring program has become an essential part of our lives; participants and volunteers alike.
I look back and it is very touching to see the first generation of kids we started working with, be tutors and mentors of our little ones.
Just the other day, Yesenia asked me to explain how to solve a fraction puzzle. I was lost and confused. I did not have a clue of what the assignments was about. Then, I looked up and see Laiza, 7th graders, on the other table. Laiza is well known for her math skills, so I asked for her help. After a few minutes, with a huge smile in her face Laize goes "I get it Miss! " Then proceeds to explain to Yesrnia.
After I see the first program solved, I joined them and the two of them show me how it was done.
The other day, a first grader was so frustrated with his homework, because he had to write a sentence with the word "howl" and he kept telling me it was "haul".
I hauled my dad's truck. I kept saying the word meant the cry sound of a wolf. Struggling not only with pronunciation, but meaning and a few tears of frustration coming out of my first grader, I had to ask for a second chance to explain myself. So, I called one of the athletes from Adams State to please read the word to us at least 10 times and explain to us what it meant. A two minute phone conversation saved the day for my first grader and me. It all worked out and by the end of the homework we were all howling as wolfs.
I love it when kids come up to me or other volunteers with random questions, like the one about what the nazis really did. After, that intense conversation a movie date is still pending as I promised the boys we would get together and watch the movie, Life is Beautiful.
The community work does not end with the tutoring program. I would say that is where all starts. We have gone to races, watched movies at my place, gone to the park, ran, walked, and celebrated many holidays together.
Did I tell you about our Christmas party? Well, it was amazing! Parents got involved and this time instead of pizza, we had an awesome pot luck. Rice, tamales, jello, rice, beans, fruit salad, juice. After we ate, the kids sang Christmas songs and danced.
What can I say? I'm very proud of what our after school tutoring program has become. Zillions of thanks to Tierra Nueva apartments for providGing us with the space and to immigrant resource center for providing us with snacks and extra volunteers.
Im so happy to announce that we are working on having a new organization join us. If this works out our kids will benefit from two more programs. The boys council and girls circle.
Can not tell you the amount of joy and happiness this work has brought to my life. Kids are indeed angels that come and remind us the true meaning of life. Im in LOVE with my community work.
Happy Valentines Day!