volunteering

The Beginning of a Beautiful (Long-Distance) Friendship

Posted on 07/23/2013 by | Volunteering | Comments

Your LifeOne Friday last month, I finally broke my news to Arthur. “I have something I need to tell you,” I said, taking a deep breath. “I’m going to graduate school.” “That’s great!” “For gerontology.” “To study old people?” “Yep. And it’s in Ohio.” “Ohio?!” That’s the part I had been nervous about — telling him I’m leaving New York. Apart from his time in the Navy and a year sabbatical in China, Arthur has lived in New York his whole …

Summertime Learning: 2 Ways to Make Summer Fun for Kids

Posted on 05/28/2013 by | Volunteering | Comments

VolunteeringSchool’s out. It’s the time of year that was once reserved for kids to help their on their family farms to maintain and pull in the crops. Now, it’s a time of leisure, play and (with any luck) visits to the grandparents. However, research shows that kids lose ground academically during the summer months unless they use the skills they learn in school throughout the year. Some studies suggest that the loss is up to three months of in-classroom work. …

AARP Experience Corps: Working with Kids Yields Rewards

Posted on 05/16/2013 by | All the news that matters for Illinoisans over 50. | Comments

VolunteeringKids Aren’t the Only Ones Who Win with Experience Corps In 2007, a Washington University research study confirmed what volunteers have been consistently saying all along.  AARP Experience Corps volunteers become more active and energetic as they participate in the program. From the study: “At the end of the academic year, about two-thirds of the low-activity group was classified as high-activity, as they became more active in [non-Experience Corps] activities. “ Experience Corps members become more active through their work …

Random Snacks of Kindness — Volunteering for Big Themes in Life

Posted on 05/14/2013 by | Volunteering | Comments

VolunteeringHypothetical question: If a random stranger on the street approached you and offered a free cupcake — just because — would you take it? Greg Gano and Sarah Sellman from AmericanBearFilm.com, along with myself undertook that exact experiment in the beautiful city of Scranton, PA. The idea was to pass out “random snacks of kindness” while promoting a simple message — “be kind”. Of course, Greg and Sarah were no strangers to this type of experiment as they had already …

“The Gasp” and the Growth of a Child

Posted on 05/9/2013 by | Washington D.C. | Comments

VolunteeringMy elementary school kids desperately want to please their teacher.  So much so, they frequently let their emotions get the better of them.  Actually it’s daily.  And here’s how I know: Each and every day that I’m in the classroom I hear the “gasp”! A little background: Good teaching requires a high level of engagement between teacher and student.  And one of the best ways to build such rapport is through questioning.  Active questioning helps ensure—nothing completely ensures!—that the students …

Building a Story — The Roles of Authors and Illustrators

Posted on 04/29/2013 by | Washington D.C. | Comments

VolunteeringEvery story has a beginning, middle and end.  And in the details of that telling, we can be transported to times and places that fill us with a range of emotions — from wonder, hope and, mirth — to fear, sadness and dread.  And the best stories usually have a blend of both! My Experience Corps kids are currently engaged in “author studies.”  What you and I — if you’re a Gen Xer, boomer or older — used to call storytime!  …