I cannot believe senior year is here! This year is full of new beginnings; not only personally, but in our Bonner Leader Program as well. This semester I will explore a new role as a Bonner Leader at the Macedonia Family Resource Center, assisting with the Learning Together Program. This past year my service site was at the HPU Community Writing Center, serving as a Program Coordinator for the after-school program. At Learning Together my responsibilities will be similar, but the demographic of students is different than those in the program at the CWC. As an International Relations major I am eager to work with children of refugee families. Academic support is important for any child, but is especially advantageous for children whose primary language is not English.
Along with excitement about my new service site, I am extremely excited to share the #BonnerLove and college experience with our new cohort of Bonner Leaders. There are 14 students in our new cohort —that’s double the size of our inaugural cohort that began building the program last academic year. We made great strides last year with just 6 Bonners and 1 AmeriCorps VISTA; imagine what we can do with 19 Bonners and 3 AmeriCorps VISTAs!
There will be more events, conferences, “bonner bonding,”and things to share this year. Don’t forget to like our Facebook page to stay updated!
We have had a couple of snow days that made for a slow start, but the spring semester is in full effect, and so is the Community Writing Center! We even have a new addition to our group of students! This semester we’re doing things a little different – each student has a specific partner that they’ll work with throughout the semester. Additionally, we have the help of an education class that will also be doing different forms of academic testing with our CWC students so that we have tangible progress information. What a way to get some hands on experience!
Each week, our reading/writing activities are getting more and more creative. This first week we had 2 related activities. On Monday, the students divided a paper plate into a “pizza” of four sections and assigned a letter to each section. After, the students had to come up with three different toppings for each letter/section of their pizza, and decorate it! Wednesday, they did the same activity, but as a dessert pizza. Some of their toppings for Wednesday included sprinkles, frosting, and various forms of candy.
This semester is different in so many ways, from one-on-one tutoring to all the different literacy activities, and I find that I get more and more out of being one of the Program Coordinators each month. As with any program or organization, there has been a share of issues. While we aren’t aware of all aspects of the lives of everyone we assist at the Community Writing Center, I have learned the importance of working patiently and positively with each of the students, encouraging them in their work. It is vital that we take one day at a time at the CWC and do what we can to make sure the service learning students, as well as the “tutees,” have an extraordinary experience.
Our service learning students and their partners are really starting to teach each other, and I can’t wait to see how strong their friendships and partnerships are by the end of the semester. I’ll be sure to keep you posted!
Meet our current Monday/Wednesday after-school students of 1307 Guyer Street! Thanks to our partnership with Christ United Methodist Church, 1307 Guyer Street is the new home of the recently opened HPU Community Writing Center. This year, I have the extraordinary opportunity to not only help develop the Bonner Leader Program at HPU, but to also be a part of the establishment of a brand new service site for the program!
Monday through Thursday from 3:30-5 we help local High Point children strengthen and develop their academic skills. HPU service learning students and student volunteers do a reading and writing development activity, followed by an hour of homework assistance. Our first day was this past Monday, September 9th, and both we and the children were more than excited to start! We were even visited by News 14 Carolina news, and the High Point University Office of Communication.
I’ve got to say, working after school with these kids, definitely makes me miss working with my kids at home. Even though my major isn’t children or education-focused, children are a big part of my life. It’s quite rewarding to actively see the benefits children receive from your help and focused attention. Despite not having a children-focused academic route, working at the Community Writing Center does help me develop skills that will be beneficial to me after graduation. I anticipate the leadership and program coordination skills I am developing and strengthening at the CWC will help me be more efficient in my future career at an international non-profit organization.
If you love kids, are an education major, or just want to be involved with the after-school program, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Until next time,