As you all probably know, I've been volunteering at Park Avenue Youth and Family Services with their Tronix Team and After-School Tutoring. I've My project hours are officially over, but I'm definitely still active there! They've got me hooked, I can't leave! :p Really though, I love the programs and kids I work with so much.
It's spring break for the tutoring kids, so we're going to the YMCA for a swimming party :D I can't wait! One of the little girls I tutor, Irma is a little math nerd like me. It makes me so happy! The other two, Nielah and Lanaya, are amazing as well! Of the eight girls who normally come, Nielah and Lanaya are the youngest, but also the most respectful and the sweetest (In my opinion...Hehe)! I must admit, sometime we finish up their tutoring stuff quick and just chat the rest of the time. A couple weeks ago, instead of playing a reading game online, we spent most of our time on Google Maps. She showed me the places in Mexico where her two brothers were born as well as her father. We even zoomed in close enough to see their neighborhood! In my opinion, taking some time to visit is just as important as the tutoring portion. Most of these kids just need a friend, and a good role model. To be honest, the idea of someone looking up to me STILL seems weird, but hey, it seems to be working!
On a similar note, being called "Ms. Patterson" at the Tronix sessions was BEYOND weird for me. I ended up ignoring half of the kids because I didn't realise they were talking to me :O Woops! I'm on a break from Tronix for now. The session I was working on at FAIR School in Minneapolis ended a few weeks ago, and none of the other sessions fit my schedule. Not to say I like the kids better, but I definitely like the Tronix project more that Tutoring. Despite the fact that my last session was twenty one 3rd-5th graders (It's SUPPOSED to be for 5th-8th only...). Twenty one 3rd-5th graders that all want your personal attention RIGHT NOW, I loved it so much. It just feels so great to help kids make this complicated project on their own. On the last day, you can just see in their eyes how pumped they are to take home their lunchbox boombox. Unfortunately, for the last session, due to lack of staff and too many young kids, only a few kids finished that day. I think I counted 5 kids crying as they left... I felt SO BAD! The other Tronix member and I stayed after to finish them all, so they got them the next day at school... but still. I guess I just didn't realise how attached I had gotten to those kids in such a short time!
Even aside from those programs and the kids I've loved every moment of my work. OK... so maybe copying, folding and stapling (with a stapler that was too small) 100 40-pg Lenten devotionals wasn't my favorite afternoon, but you know what I mean! I've gotten to know my supervisors really well, and half the time it takes me a good 30 min to leave because I'm chitchatting the whole time :)
Well, I should probably get to writing this paper before it's time to go swimming! Peace!