Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wonderful Volunteer Experience with the Annandale Safe Youth Project (ASYP)

It has been my privilege to be an ASYP volunteer throughout the past two years. I enjoy working with young students and helping them realize that learning and school can be fun. So often, elementary school children think that school is not a happy place, subjects are too difficult, and reading is boring.

As a substitute teacher in the Alexandria school system and a volunteer in the ASYP program, I frequently find that students don’t understand the material they are studying, struggle with their homework, and need extra help to complete their assignments.
For me, the reward of being a volunteer with ASYP is seeing the smile on children’s faces when I teach them how to solve a math problem and, all of a sudden, they understand the method – or how to write a better composition and they find that they can do it!

It is important to help students strengthen their self-esteem and trust their abilities and help them see that, with discipline and perseverance, they can achieve their goals.
This past year, we have had an exceptional group of students. They were a real joy to be around, willing to learn and to study. They were respectful and followed directions. The kids got along with each other and the staff.

I have the utmost respect for the director of the program, Antonia Arias, and the assistant director, Jade Leedham.

Larry L. Fickau (“Mr. Lee”)

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