A special thank you to the Class of 2017 for their desire to serve the community. Below is a reflection from one of our 2nd year OT student about her service learning experience.
The intention of The Little Free Library 4 Kids was to promote early literacy for children. We gathered free books that children could borrow, helped them with their homework, provided light refreshments, and encouraged family participation in their child’s education. We entered the community and worked with children of all ages once a week for 1 hour for 10 weeks.
At the end of the program we reflected on our time together, and here is some information we gathered. The children all agreed that they liked the snacks provided. They felt that they have learned something one way or the other. It was mentioned that they would have liked books that were more age appropriate for them, such as “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” Having those types of age appropriate books would have encouraged them to read more. A lot of the books were for children that were younger and they had no interest in those books. They ultimately wanted to be challenged.
Upon our last day, the children were sad and asked many times when we will return and why we were leaving. The volunteers thanked them for coming and a child responded by saying, “Why are you thanking us . . . we should be thanking you guys!” We felt that we have really bonded with all of them, and it was heartwarming to hear such appreciation.
Upon serving them all pizza for their wonderful participation, they initiated a prayer in which we have never done so as a group. The prayer was lead by a child and almost brought us to tears. With moments such as these, we hope to keep programs like The Little Free Library 4 Kids running and keep bringing the skills we have learned in the classroom as OT students into our communities.
Just when you think you might not have made a difference, you may be surprised.
-Norma Eng, Class of 2017