Today’s post is from our Director of Volunteer Services, Carly Wiggins. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that enthusiasm is the mother of effort. Here at CIS we say that Carly is the mother of enthusiasm. No matter what the weather, Carly blazes a trail of sunshine wherever she goes.
On a snowy Monday morning in January, I arrived at El Sol Elementary to greet volunteers who signed up to read books to children on MLK Day. These community members were there because they heard Dr. King’s call to service: “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.”
Twenty five volunteers came to serve. Each volunteer was matched to a student, and they entered the library in pairs, one tall and one small, to choose a book and read together. At CIS, we believe that every child deserves a one on one relationship with a caring adult. I heard many requests to read “just one more book” from students enjoying this individual attention.
At 11:00am, students went back to their classrooms and volunteers stayed for an additional hour to complete a variety of projects, from recording audiobooks to sorting books. As we wrapped up at noon with lunch provided by Voluntee
r Kalamazoo, some of the volunteers let me know they’d like to be matched to an individual student as a regular weekly tutor. Watching volunteers leave the school to head to their regular Monday afternoon commitments, I realized that just as every child deserves a one on one relationship with a caring adult, every caring adult deserves to be important in the life of a child.