My new friend

I’ve been spending some time volunteering at Henry Elementary School.  My job is pretty easy, I get to help a 5-year-old match letters to sounds. 

Here’s how it goes – I lay the alphabet out in order from A – Z in front of me and my new friend.  I show my friend a picture of a duck, for example.  I then say “what’s this a picture of”, he says “duck”.  I say “OK, what does duck start with”.  He thinks and then responds, “duh, duh, duh, D!”.  “You’re right” I tell him and then I ask him to find “D” in the alphabet.  We do this for about 30 minutes at a time which I’ve learned is the limit for a 5 year old’s attention span but to be honest it’s the limit of mine as well – I sit still about as well as a five-year old.

I’ve learned a few other things as well.  My new friend loves it.  He has a blast and so do I.  I’ve learned that he likes the attention as much as the lesson.  I’ve also learned that my friend is a quick learner, after just a couple of lessons I see major improvement in his ability. 

I’m not an educator but I am a parent and I do like kids.  I’m not doing anything with my friend I don’t do with my own kid the only difference is I don’t think my friend gets the same attention at home.  I hope to keep meeting with my friend for the rest of the school year, or at least as long as he’ll have me.  I’d encourage you to consider volunteering a little bit of your time to give a local kid some attention.  If you’re interested let me know and I’ll give you the details.

We can all use more friends and I promise you’ll learn more than your tutor partner.  A little attention goes a long way and as long as you can spell “duck”, you’re qualified!

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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