Tuesday, October 02, 2007

New Commitment

On my previous post of September 16, I mentioned the memorial celebration of a dear friend's father-in-law and the question he was famous for: What did you do today to make the world a better place to live? As stated then, this question has been on my mind and helped me make the decision to volunteer to be a tutor in the "One-by-One" program at the Cedar Valley Church in Bloomington for this school year. The program began 7 years ago with the support of the church. Invitations were sent out to all of the neighboring apartment houses, and that first year there were 7 students enrolled. The children who attended were Hispanic, though the program is not limited to Hispanics. It is an outreach ministry of the church for East Bloomington and Richfield elementary and middle school children. Each adult tutor spends an hour with the child assigned to them working on reading and math skills and assisting with homework. Following the hour of instruction, the group gathers for a half-hour Bible Club. The program really took off and this year there are 80 children registered!

After wrestling with this question, I decided I could make the world a better place by volunteering to be a tutor, so I signed up. The program began last night, and lasts this school year, meeting every Monday night. The little girl assigned to me is Rosy. She is 6 years old and in the first grade. She is so sweet, and already a good reader, knowing how to sound out words. The only problem I had last night was being able to hear her. We are situated at tables for two in a room with 36 other tutors and their assigned child. Even though most are speaking softly, I still had to strain to hear her little voice. I will post a photo of her in a few weeks, but want her to feel comfortable with me before I do. This will be a growing year for me, but hopefully I will be able to make a difference in her life and her family's life.


Natasha said...

Donna, I'm so glad you decided to sign on to One-by-One! I think your personality is perfectly suited to it. And yes, it does get loud in there--it's not just you.

Also, here's a clarification: We currently have 66 children enrolled. We have only 61 tutors, so there are six younger ones "sharing" one tutor in a classroom setting until more tutors sign on. And we have a waiting list of 10–15 kids. So yes, we still need about 20 tutors!

MamaD4 said...

Good for you!