The Essential Agreement of the Classroom

  Maintaining discipline in a classroom of elementary school kids is seldom easy.  My teacher has a number of tactics that she uses.  When a couple of kids aren’t paying attention or picking at each other, she says, “I’ll wait.”  She then silently pauses her lesson, the room gets quiet, and the kids that aren’t focused realize all eyes are on them and they settle down. If things get worse and more kids “don’t have their eyes on the speaker …

Provide a Mentor for a Child Through Giving Tuesday

This is a guest post by Deborah Jaquith of the AARP Experience Corps Program. Everyone’s heard of Black Friday and most have heard of Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, but what about Giving Tuesday?  We spend so much time around Thanksgiving shopping for Christmas. What about “shopping” online to invest in the work of the many nonprofits who give every day to others?  After all, isn’t that what the season is all about? Giving Tuesday is a campaign to create a …

Pumpkins and Punctuation Marks!

Great excitement colors every Halloween.  Kids happily don their costumes – some out of the box, some handmade – carve their jack o’lanterns, then set off to troll neighborhoods in the dusk and dark for candy galore. At my AARP Experience Corps school, the students woke up Halloween morning and put on their costumes for the school day.  Teachers and administrators dressed up as well and the entire school stepped outside for a street parade.  They marched about five blocks …

The View From 14 Inches

Earlier this month I began my Experience Corps work with Washington, D.C. elementary school kids to build their reading skills.  It has been both exhilarating and exhausting.  And although I’m having a tremendous amount of fun, I am already developing calluses on my back side getting used to sitting in a chair that’s only 14 inches off the ground! H. L. Mencken once famously said, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”  My Experience Corps corollary …

Contributions of Older Volunteers Honored this Week

Senior Corps Week - May 7 through 11 – celebrates the work of older adults throughout the country who volunteer their time through Senior Corps, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  Senior Corps and Americorps are both Corporation for National and Community Service programs; and both tap the time and talents of older adults to serve their communities in a variety of ways.  Whether its serving seniors, veterans or school age children, older volunteers give extraordinary amounts …

Fulfill Your Potential by Volunteering

Here’s a loaded question for you. How many of you knew last week was National Volunteer Week?  Hmmmm …how many people said, “Well, I knew it was in April” or “I have heard of it before” or as I would imagine the vast majority had absolutely no clue. I was going to inform you last week and give you lists of fabulous ideas and pages of great projects that you could engage in, but then I thought, “No, let’s see what …