I want to share with you a bit more about the joy of volunteer work with school children.
I have had many opportunities to work with children in my 62 years as a active member of the PTA. Many years ago I assisted a number of children who were having problems with reading. I was assigned one small boy when he was in the fourth grade. His name was Michael. Michael had a serious stammering problem and he had a great deal of trouble with his L’s and F’s. As kids will do, they made fun of Michael and he never offered to answer questions in class and became very quiet and withdrawn. I worked with Michael the entire year, twice a week. He made progress and became much more assertive in class.
At the end of the school year, each class had a “Thank You” party for the volunteers that had assisted in their classroom that year. The children thanked the volunteers for the many types of ways their class had benefited. I was standing in the back of the room and I saw Michael raise his hand. He asked the teacher if he could thank a special person and the teacher said he could, and Michael turned, walked to the back of the room and took my hand and walked me to the front of the class. Michael with his head of red hair, a big grin, minus two teeth, ears far to big for that precious face looked up at me and said to the class, “This lady is Mrs. Key, she is my friend and I love her.” I reached down and hugged him and he whispered in my ear – “two L’s and an F.”
I had, on occasion, run into the principal of that school and we reminisced about all the people who were willing to help the children. It was some twenty years later she told me that little Michael, who at one time would hardly speak in front of the class because of his inability to be understood, was now a baseball announcer in San Diego, California. My case in point, friends – one person can make a difference in the life of a child. You never know as you sit next to a child who needs your help and encouragement what life may have in store for him or her. Be a part of it…not apart from it!