Raising Up The Next Generation

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From Judy Newton, a Prince of Peace disciple and volunteer with our community partner, Echo Park Elementary School.

While I was reading with a second grader last year, she pointed out an “idiom” in the text and told me that they were learning about idioms in class.  Then she asked if she could get something from her desk.  Moments later, she returned with a dictionary of idioms that belonged to her mother.  I couldn’t help but think about this immigrant mom and the challenges that she was facing, trying to make sense of the English language and trying to raise her family in an environment so unlike the one in which she grew up.  I was reminded of a line from a poem entitled ”A Voice,”  written by Pat Mora, a Mexican-American poet.  “This is America, Mom.  The un-doable is done in the next generation.”

What a privilege to be able to work with the second graders as they develop those skills, both academic and social, that will open doors and expand opportunities for all of them.

It’s a cliché, but I probably do get more out of the volunteering experience than the kids do!  (Even when one boy guessed that I was about eighty-five years old!)

I also need to acknowledge the efforts of the teachers who have opened up their classrooms to the volunteers.  As a former teacher, I know that having something meaningful for the volunteer and the students to do doesn’t just happen!

You can get involved in the lives of the next generation:

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