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MondayFebruary 2016

Andrea at an event

It is pretty rare that someone becomes Volunteer of the Month at 826michigan before being here at least a year. Occasionally, though, someone comes on board and knocks our socks off immediately in a way that makes the whole staff take notice. (And feet our cold.)

This month we would like to celebrate one of those someones: allow us to introduce Andrea Cisneros, February 2016’s Volunteer of the Month. Andrea is a PhD student at University of Michigan’s School of Education. She is also a former classroom teacher and educational consultant.

andrea teachingAndrea started volunteering this fall with our on-going in-school project at Adams STEM Academy in Ypsilanti. Knowing her background, it didn’t take long for us to make increasing requests upon her time. We enlisted Andrea to help design and lead a six-session Motown workshop at Pathways to Success, an alternative school in Ann Arbor. Organized, creative, and oh-so reliable, Andrea jumped in and began developing amazing lesson plans and materials. She contributed thoughtfully to many a brainstorm session and recruited her music-loving partner to help volunteer. In addition to all of this, Andrea also lead many of the sessions in class, enlivening a very quiet group of students.

Did we then stop and say, we’ve asked for Andrea’s help so much already, we should take a pause? No, no we did not. We jumped right in and requested that she lead a last-minute addition to our in-school project calendar. She obliged graciously and this allowed us to bring the magic of 826 to three ADDITIONAL classrooms that we were not able to accommodate with our field trip schedule this year. andrea teaching at 826michigan

Let’s just say Andrea has MAJOR lesson planning skills and a classroom presence that would make Ms. Honey envious. She unites best practices and theory with a super charismatic personality, and we’ve seen students from first to twelfth grade respond to her teaching with enthusiasm. She is fun to be around, incredibly smart, kind, and thoughtful. What can she not do?! And to top it off, she has fantastic style and super gorgeous hair. We feel unendingly fortunate that Andrea has been drawn into the sphere of 826 and super happy that doctorate degrees take so long to complete (Andrea, don’t ever leave!).

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