by Michele Eathorne
There are many reasons a person might think about volunteering, maybe they have some more time on their hands or are looking to find a way to give back to their community. Did you know there are real proven benefits of volunteering, below are just a few:
- Become a part of a community
- Improve your physical and mental health
- End loneliness and increases social interaction
- Improve self-esteem and confidence
- Provide better job prospects
- Promote longevity and reduces risk of Alzheimer's disease
- Learn new skills
- Raise awareness of a cause that is meaningful to you
- Strengthen your compassion for others
- Experience more fun!
I was recently privileged to participate in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record campaign event. Read for the Record is the world’s largest shared reading experience, connecting people across the country and around the world to read the same book on the same day. This year’s selection was Quackers by Liz Wong, and I went over to DiLoreto Magnet School to read it to two kindergarten classrooms.
I have to admit that even though I am comfortable reading in front of children, I was nervous being in a new environment. That feeling fell away as I saw their eager faces.
I spent about 15 minutes in each of the classrooms and was delighted to see how welcoming the children were. They all vied for attention in answering questions and connecting to the story through their own understanding. I’m not sure who enjoyed the time more- them or me.
I share this experience with you to encourage you to come to YWCA New Britain’s preschool and childcare programs to experience the joy of volunteering for yourself. We warmly welcome the families of our students to help in the classrooms in many different capacities.
Many families help supply ingredients to classroom cooking activities or bring in a dish at a classroom gathering. You can join a group of children in construction with the unit blocks – the children love grown-ups on the floor with them constructing imaginary roads, castles, cities and buildings. Take a seat in Dramatic Play and the children will ‘cook’ you up something delicious. Share a favorite hobby of yours such as soap-making or beading. Do you play an instrument? Come sing along with us!
I invite you to come spend a few minutes of your day every now and then in your child’s classroom. Please contact me at 860-225-4681 x287 for more information.
I would also like to extend a thank you to all our parents who contribute their time to our students. You are a vital part of our program, and the children enjoy having you!