Cityview Volunteering- Week two
When we first arrived this past Monday we did the regular routine. We walked in, signed the visitors sheet and went to the office we were introduced to last time. We waited there until it was time to meet the students in the cafeteria, when we walked together with the boxes of activities. All the new volunteers sat at their own table while the Vets. walked around chatting with the kids they knew. We signed our hours in and the name-tags were given out, though a few of us still hadn't had them made. I asked what group we were supposed to go with and we were told we could go with anyone we wanted, unless he decided to move us around. I chose to go with the same group of kids we had gone with last time, though the group leader had changed. This fact baffled me. Why would the group leaders change? These kids become attached to the leader and then they have them taken away. Wouldn't it be more worth while to give the kids a more permanent figure in their lives than to give them 10 rotating figures? I guess, to me, the point of being a mentor figure is so you can become close to a few kids as opposed to not really knowing anything about the individuals in a large group of kids. They need permanent figures in their lives that they can feel comfortable with.
We went through the same routine as last time with the kids, though this time they had less homework to do and it was a bit less controlled. Apparently I was with a "trouble causing" group of kids this time and last, as we had many visits from the head coordinator. This time, however, he spent the majority of his time with us, along with a teacher from Cityview and an extra group leader. I guess it seemed like the kids were being inundated with rules and restrictions. I understand that there needs to be structure, but speaking form a students perspective, couldn't we give them a break? They just went through 7 hours of school or more, they don't need two more hours of sitting in a desk not being allowed to talk or relax. A few of the restrictors were being a bit intense with the rules. It just "sucked the fun" out of the room. I know the kids were trouble makers, but standing over them, literally, making sure they did not talk or stray from their "fish worksheet" was a bit much.
ACES is a great organization, don't get me wrong. But with any organization outsiders can see some flaws more readily than those who are completely immersed in the program.
I did get some drawings this time too!!!