Some of you may already know a bit about our in-schools program, but we were thinking that today—sunny, warmish, can’t see a cloud in the sky from my sliver of window—might be a good time to give you more specifics.
On any given day of the week, 826michigan’s volunteers could be in any number of elementary, middle, and high schools helping teachers, teaching workshops, and/or working one-on-one with students. For the last three weeks, volunteers have been happily working alongside two teachers from Ann Arbor Academy.
Ann Arbor Academy serves students from all over southeastern Michigan in grades four through twelve. Many of the students have been diagnosed with various learning disabilities ranging from ADHD to Aspergers Syndrome, but many have not. They simply need a school they look forward to attending and a more individualized learning experience. The goals for each student vary due to the range of skill and ability levels within the class, which makes 826’s presence critical.
Volunteers visit Ann Arbor Academy two days a week to work one-on-one with students on different writing projects, helping them organize their thoughts and formulate sentences. Without consistent one-on-one attention, their writing skills cannot develop at the rate the teachers would like.
But don’t listen to us brag about our volunteers. Karen O’Donovan, one of the teachers we are helping, had this to say: “The high school students are finishing up their research projects and have produced some really good essays thanks to our volunteers. All the kids love the volunteers and they are causing quite a stir in school. The other classes are asking why my classes are lucky enough to get help. The kids in my class really look forward to seeing them and feel quite special to have the help. This is a great success, and I am pretty sure that all the tutors can see how much the kids need help and what a difference they are making to them. I can’t tell you what a great help they are for me also.”
We’ve received a whole lot of positive feedback from the teachers at Ann Arbor Academy. Of course, it’s because of the magnificent and dedicated volunteers that we’ve gotten such rave reviews from all the teachers and students we serve. Many, many thanks to Rossitza Iordanova, Alex McLean, Lauren Miller, Jamie Sitar, and Lois Zimmerman for all your hard work!