Monday, March 30, 2009

Spanish Community Service Learning Anecdote 1

As part of their midterm exam, my Spanish & Entrepreneurship students had to revise a fundraising letter they wrote for a previous reflective essay. The letters included anecdotes and descriptions of the work that their community partners do, and I want to share some of them here. I'll post one a day for several days.

Anecdote 1

I work at Leal School, an elementary school in Urbana. Leal has classrooms for kids who are native English speakers and for those who come from Spanish-speaking families with little ability to speak English. When the students are better able to speak English, they are then integrated into classrooms where English and Spanish are spoken together. I work in a 2nd grade classroom, with students who speak little English, and the instruction is mainly in Spanish.

Leal School really needs help in its Spanish-speaking classes. There are many kids in each class, and the individual attention they receive from the tutors helps them immensely. Working with these kids is very rewarding. Every day that I help out, it is clear that the students are learning more and more. When I first started volunteering, one student asked me for help all the time. When the teacher would assign a project in class, his hand shot up instantly every time because he wanted help and didn’t want to try it himself. However, as time goes on, I’ve helped him realize that if he thinks it through and puts his mind to it, he can come up with his own ideas for each project. Seeing him and the other students progress is rewarding and makes me feel like I made a difference in these kids’ lives.

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