Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spanish Community Service Learning Anecdote 3

by Ann Abbott

The students in SOAR have wonderful stories to tell about their one-on-one work with the students. From its inception, this after-school program responded to the needs that the Latino community expressed: a safe, educational after-school program. Prof. Ann Bishop spearheaded that effort, and it has grown into a terrific program in just a few years. It shows what can be accomplished when the university partners in a truly engaged way with the local community.

A young boy is sitting in the corner frustrated as he looks up and screams, “I don’t understand how to do this math! I don’t get it and I don’t care!” Looking at the boy’s expression, the tutor looks at him in the eyes and replies, “Let’s try it like this! Don’t give up because we will do it together!”

This sense of reassurance to a child under frustration is only available by the volunteer tutors at Booker T. Washington SOAR program. This sense of hope for children who don’t have parents with time and an education to help them improve in school is only available by a dedicated group of people who want to create a change in the lives of elementary students.

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