So many wonderful things happen at the VU homework program, some big and some small. The primary goal, of course, is to help the kids do their homework and practice reading and math skills, but there’s so much more. We help them clean up and organize their messy backpacks and homework folders; show them how to help one another and cooperate with volunteers, even when they don’t get to work with their favorite; and help them understand that when it comes to learning, it’s not about how fast they “get it,” but how persistence and practice pay off.
We are also modeling for them what it means to spend time helping others. And that was very evident last week when we had a day with lots of students and too few volunteers. Three 5th- and sixth-grade students demonstrated just how much they have learned from us by pitching in after their own work was done. They helped younger kids with their homework, listened to them read, and played games. It means so much to see them come full circle, from shy first-graders who relied on us to confident learners who can–and will–take time to assist others. Warms my heart.