Volunteered over lunch to help pre-kindergarten kids get a leap start on their reading and writing. In the process, I met a boy who was changed.
Today was some lunch-hour volunteering with the same kids I worked with last week. My task was to use wikki stix to help the kids form the shapes of the letters of their names. The necessity of being able to use those fine motor skills is necessary in order to be able to hold a pencil to write with. It takes time and patience while a child figures out those skills that we adults take this for granted.
I met again with Lawrence (name changed), a precocious five year old. Last week he had only been to two classes and was very ansy, having the attention span of a gnat. Today, he was much more patient, and worked with focus and attention on his wikki stix to make his name. He also was quite chatty, and wanted to make sure that I saved his work so that his mother could see it.
I recognize that ten minutes isn’t long enough to get to know anyone, let alone a five year old child. But had I prematurely judged Lawrence’s abilities last week, I would not have given his much of a chance to succeed in school. Today, after only one week, he was a different kid.
It’s rare to see such progress in so short a period of time. Like a garden, it’s hard to see the plants growing on a daily basis. But any good gardener knows that the plants are growing and patience will produce results.
When we volunteer, give our time and go beyond, we are building something better. Often we can’t see the results of our efforts.
Have patience, the results of your good work will yield results. Maybe even next week.
Beautiful, Eric. What great things you are doing for those kids – it was obviously an amazing moment of achievement for that little boy. Children so readily live up (or down) to expectations, and its not easy to show endless patience and faith that they will get there. But if you do, amazing things can happen.
I think all the little children in this group have the potential for great things. Whether we as parents, teachers, volunteers, or community members is patient enough to support them will be seen. As you know Catherine, we all do our little part. 🙂