It was Monday evening. The Redford Library was abuzz with pencils scratching across pages and the voices of enthusiastic young writers turning their thoughts into a physical entity. A new student, Gabriel, age 7, was writing a story about a rock band readying to play a huge show, but there is traffic. Drats! How will they get through this predicament!? But before we get into that traffic, we must tackle spelling. Gabriel is unsure how to spell ‘traffic.’ So he asks aloud to his tutor for the evening, “How do you spell ‘traffic’?”
Enter: Ani Lekhi. A Jill of all trades with a degree in Psychology from Ohio State University, Ani has jumped into our first semester of programming from the Detroit Robot Factory with outstretched arms and legs, like those slow-motion videos of frogs jumping from tree limb to tree limb. She has worked with students at our Wee-Bots Writing Club at the Redford Library, Boggs School After-School Writing Club, and several field trips at the Detroit Robot Factory (wearing her hard hat of course).
It is Ani’s first time as a volunteer at 826michigan. She looks at Gabriel and calmly asks, “How do you think you spell it? Let’s sound it out.” It is the ideal response that we cover in our volunteer trainings! Gabriel has just gone from an observer to an explorer of the English language with Ani’s redirection. Our staff hearts collectively soar, much like those slow-motion frogs.
Ani brings a calming positivity and enthusiastic interest to all of her work with students at 826michigan programming, and we cannot thank her enough for that. She also jumps in (again not so different from those frogs) to the other projects that spring up around the Detroit Robot Factory like assembling Ikea chairs for students to sit in or pricing merchandise for the grand opening of the store. We are so excited to bestow January Volunteer of the Month to Ani Lekhi, a magical person with invested dedication to the students in our programs and rock star able to overcome any form of traffic she comes across.