the bistro off broadway

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My volunteering an eye-opening experience
By Alyssa Post
Edison State Communications Student

I would never have imagined that volunteering at a daycare would affect me so much until I recently volunteered at the Saint Henry daycare. At the beginning of this project, I was a little skeptical. I did not understand the point and I didn’t know how I was going to find time to volunteer on top of my crazy life, but I did. Volunteering at the daycare made me open my eyes more and it also gave me a break from my crazy life.

I went to the daycare every Thursday from 8-12 for 2 months straight. While I was there, I helped with many different tasks. I helped with everything from teaching 2-year-olds to feeding new-born babies.  Every day was different.

This project related to communication because I had to be able to communicate on different levels. On any given day at any given second, I would have to go from talking to a 2-year-old to a 40-year-old. This was a little challenging at first because you do not talk to them the same way, obviously. Communication was present at almost every single second of my time spent there. An example of communication is when I would help teach the little kids new things. I would show them a flashcard and they would respond with what the picture was. I would also ask them questions like, “Where is your nose?” and they would respond by touching their nose. I would also communicate with their teachers or leaders when we fed the kids lunch and snacks. We would have to make sure every child receives the correct food and milk. One of my favorite forms of communication was with a little 2-year-old girl who acted as if she was my best friend right from my first day there. She would run up to me and sit on my lap and say hi and start playing toys with me. Every time I would leave she would cry and it made my heart melt.

The core values showed up a lot during my time at the daycare. There were many different types of communication, everything from verbal to hands-on. Ethics were also present. Each teacher or leader had rules that the kids followed. One rule was to not take other kids’ toys. Critical thinking was huge. At the daycare, you are dealing with people from age 6 weeks all the way up to age 60. You cannot respond to different situations the same with this large an age gap. It was also present in a little girl who wanted to be left alone all the time. We had to figure out how to get her to play with the other kids. We eventually found out that the newborn baby was getting more attention at home than she was. Eventually, she started to play more with others as the weeks went on. Human Diversity was definitely present at the daycare. There were different ages, different races, different likes, and different values. I had to adjust to new things for each individual person. The little kids were good at giving respect to learning. They knew that when we pulled the flashcards out they had to take a seat on the floor and be quiet until we asked them a question. Teamwork was present in both the kids and adult teachers. Typically, each room had two teachers or leaders that worked together to find activities the kids liked to do. The kids also showed teamwork when we would go play outside they would take turns pushing their friends on the swings.

This experience was extremely valuable to me. This project was probably one of the best projects I have ever done. I enjoyed my time at the daycare so much that I will definitely visit them some more. The project made me open my eyes and realize that volunteering is awesome. It makes you feel good because you are helping other people. Almost any place would gladly and willingly accept volunteers and that is how the daycare was. They made me feel like a part of their team and it was awesome. It also gave me a break from my crazy life. Having college classes, working 20 hours a week, having high school classes, and extracurricular activities, it can be hard to find time to do things you want to do. It was awesome to do something that I loved and it gave me a break from all the craziness in my life. I love little kids, so to me this was a great project. Their little smiles made my day every time I went there. Though the little children couldn’t tell me that they valued my time there, I know their little smiles showed that.

Editor’s Note: Edison State Darke County Communications students had to volunteer 26 hours during the semester, preferably at the Empowering After School Program. If a student’s schedule or distance from campus made that impossible, they were allowed to work in a comparable program under licensed supervision. The purpose was to teach the student how the fundamentals of communication impacted their own lives and the lives of those around them.


 
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