April 29, 2008

Volunteering Summaries

Volunteering at Skyline Towers though Commonbond Communities

Feb 4th 2:00-3:00
This was my first time volunteering after the fall semester. I decided to help with the pre-K kids. I thought I was going to be there for two hours, but they only needed my help for one. I arrived late because I did not catch an early enough bus and I was embarrassed. I blew some bubbles for the cute kids and watched them draw. I wasn’t much help, so I talked to Yvonne and changed my hours.

Feb 11 3:30-5:30
So this was my first time working in the computer lab. Mindy, the computer lab organizer was very inviting. I read through some rules that the kids had to follow and Mindy explained some of the basic guidelines. I was still an hour early because the lab did not open until 4:30. I wish they had told me. I assumed they were just glad I could help out and didn’t really care what time I came. Some of the kids recognized me from the fall, I was really encouraged. I had a friend pick me up from Skyline Towers because I did not feel safe taking the bus back to campus when it was dark out.

Feb 25 4:30- 5:30
I finally came at an appropriate time and was needed. The kids, ages 7-12, really enjoy the computer time. They always have to get a pass before they come in, proving that they at least thought about doing homework in the homework center. Many kids just need help getting on youtube or video game sites. The hot site of the day was youtube and watching High School Musical.

March 10th 4:00-6:00
Today, Mindy introduced a project for me to help with. She found a program that introduces kids to computer skills through a cool secret agent set up called Skill Tech. I found it actually very challenging. Even though I can type, find websites, and open up word, I do not know much computer lingo. Well, she wanted me to help design a poster that looked cool and inviting so the kids would actually think the game was fun. When the kids completed a section in the program they could then put a star by their name on the poster and see their progress.

March 24th 4:00-5:45
Today, I finished the poster. I brought in some cool clip art I found on google and it actually turned out pretty good. I was proud. While supervising the kids, the popular site became wrestling. It all started with the oldest kid and then the younger kids followed. It’s amazing how the social order works. Wrestling was not totally appropriate for the younger kids so we had to tell them they had to find something more appropriate to watch.

April 7th 4:00-6:00
Today was a slow day, but I had some really interesting talks with Mindy and another employee Mohammad. Many sites that the kids visit are not appropriate for their age. Mindy said that many of the kids watch Family Guy because the parents just think it’s a cartoon, not realizing that its inappropriate in English. It is very hard to kick the kids off the sites because its better that they are inside rather then getting in trouble with gangs or something else. We also do not know what is going on at home with the kids so it is important in being sensitive and caring to the kids.

April 14th 4:00-6:00
Today was the day we had to kick the kids off the wrestling websites and the inappropriate music videos. It surprises me how addicted the kids are to the rap videos. Much of the words and inappropriate lingo is over the kid’s heads but they should still not be listening to today’s inappropriate media. They are so young.

April 21st 4:00-6:00
Today was long. There were not many kids in the computer lab because it was a really nice day outside. So we were actually really proud that the kids chose outside rather then inside with the computer. On Mondays, the day I volunteer, a man comes and takes some of the kids to Boy Scouts. Not all of them are happy to go, but some are. I am glad that the kids have the same opportunities that most kids in the US have.

April 28th 4:00-5:30
After disinfecting the computers, I went on the Crayola website and started coloring a picture. It was really relaxing. The top websites of the day were and The games are actually really cool. I started getting frustrated that the kids couldn’t type in their own website addresses, so I spelled them out and made them find the letters on the keyboard. I hope next time they will remember how to do it.

May 5th 4:00-5:30
Cinco de Mayo
Today most of the kids had no homework and decided to go outside. I heard their was a new garden so they took a trip outside to see it. Inside, I played a game of chess with a boy and girl who were way better at the game then me. I was proud that they knew how to play. I am pretty sure I won with their help. I for sure would have lost if they didn't tell me what the bishop could do. I then went to the computer lab and supervised. There was a girl younger then seven who I let on the computer but was not supposed to be on one. She was doing fine just coloring on a crayola website but then she kept wanting to click on important display files. I learned that kids younger then seven can not handle a computer.

April 2, 2008

Service Journal

I just wanted to say a few words about my volunteering at Skyline Towers. Skyline Towers is an apartment complex that offers an after school program for kids. Last semester I was part of the reading corps and helped kids read after school. This semester I am helping out with the computer lab. The kids are ages 7 to 14. I was really surprised my first week returning when the kids remembered my name. I had no idea that I had that much impact. The kids are so sweet. All they want is a friend and I am glad that I can be there. In the computer lab I help watch the kids as they surf the internet. Many of them have no computer at home and many just have no idea how to use it. It is especially difficult if they don't know english and the key board to them looks like a bunch of chinese symbols to me. Many kids just want to watch inappropriate music videos or tv shows and it is up to the advisors to direct them in the right direction. In my third and forth time volunteering I helped Mindy ( computer lab organizer) create a poster for a new computer program that will help the kids learn about the computer and all the jargon that a computer entails. I hope it works out and the kids enjoy it. They have not started it yet.