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After School Program at Edison
A Valuable Experience I’ll need later in Life
By Makenzie Stucky, Edison student volunteer

I feel as if I have gained valuable skills that will benefit me later in life through helping with this program. As I plan to be a teacher I believe that this experience has been very valuable to me because it has shown me some of the things I will have to deal with when I do become a teacher. I think it was extra valuable because it has taught me how to deal with kids who struggle in school. I have always found school to be quite easy and have never really understood how people could struggle but now that I have experienced it firsthand I feel as if I am much better equipped to help struggling kids. This is all experience that will be quite valuable to me later in life.

I believe that this program is very helpful to the students. I personally saw a lot of improvement in the kid I worked with. He went from reading at about a second grade level, when he is a sixth grader, to reading at about his own level. I also think it is very useful to have a safe place where kids can go after school, but not only that, it was a place where they got help with school work and were able to interact with older people that they look up to. I know a lot of the kids really enjoy their time at the program and were upset when their parent showed up to pick them up. I think this program is also beneficial to parents because they know their kid is safe and getting help on homework, which can often be frustrating for them.

All of the six Edison Core Values, communication, ethics, critical thinking, human diversity, inquiry/respect for learning, and interpersonal skills/teamwork, I have personally used in the after school program. Communication, of course, has been prominent in it. It has been very important with the kids. I found myself constantly have to change the way I communicated so that the kid I was working with could understand what I was trying to get across.

While it has not been as pronounced, ethics has also come into play with the after school program. For me personally ethics has been most used when dealing with the kids’ behavior. I am not one who will take a lot of disrespect from anyone, so ethics has been most used when deciding how to handle a kid who will not listen, choosing whether to get mad or just be sterner in telling them what they need to get done. In my situation critical thinking and ethics have gone hand in hand; finding a different way to handle a difficult situation and deciding on a solution that will benefit everyone.

Human diversity I would have to say has come in the form of how I helped each individual kid. Due to being diverse everyone learns differently and that is something I had to learn to accommodate. Respect for learning, I saw, was more so on the kids’ back not mine but there are times where I had to help push the child in the right direction. Besides communication I think teamwork has been the biggest core value I have had to work with. Teamwork was not only with the kids but also with the other volunteers. Stepping in when you saw someone else needed help or even just accommodating to different schedules and working with someone else’s kid if they had to leave.

I do think that the program is run very well, but I do have a couple of suggestions. First I would make the kids clean up the main room before they are allowed to have snacks. When we try to have them clean up towards the end it is a lot harder because many kids have left at that point and those who have not left are more often than not watching whatever show/movie is on. This means that the blunt of the work falls on the volunteers and while we do need to help it would go much smoother if most of the kids helped. Other than that there is nothing I can think of that needs improving.

Makenzie has completed 26.5 hours in Empowering Darke County Youth’s After School Program on the Edison Darke County Campus. To get details about her assignment, go to Edison Students Speak Out

To get more details about Empowering Darke County Youth and the After School Program, go to the Empowering Darke County Youth link.

This opinion is being published with permission, and was chosen for CNO readers due to the quality of the assignment submission and relevance of the topic. It does not necessarily represent the opinion of County News Online or Edison State Community College.


 
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