Volunteer Stories: Partners in Reading

This week’s volunteer stories come from Adana Barry, a Classroom Coach for Partners in Reading!

Check out Adana’s story below, and don’t forget to submit your stories here.

What makes Classroom Coaching special as a volunteer experience?

I love helping people and especially children who need some additional help in the area of reading. I also like to see their faces light up when I come to visit their classroom. It makes me feel special as a volunteer.

Please share an anecdote or memorable moment that you have shared with your students.

I started off with two students and we named our team – Team Gingerbread. Each time we’d meet, I’d place my hand on the table and their two little hands would join my hand, and we’ll all say in unison, “Team Gingerbread”. Then there were some changes in my group since one of my students moved to another school and the other didn’t need as much help reading. I was given a different student and he was really a struggling reader and benefited from one-on-one attention. From the first moment we met, I could tell his problem was not phonics, but it was confidence. We worked together and I made sure I let him come up with games that we could play together while at the same time practicing reading.

This last session before spring break was really memorable. We had played tic tac toe and you could tell he was really enjoying himself. He was able to read an especially difficult word, and I heard him say (under his breath) “I can read”. So, after we spoke about all the fun things he’d do for spring break, I suggested that he look in the mirror each morning and tell himself, “I can read”. He smiled and we high-fived each other as I was on my way out the door. As he was gathering his books, I heard him practicing the phrase: “I Can Read”. This really touched my heart.

How has Classroom Coaching impacted your life?

I feel so helpful and useful; and I also feel that at the end of the day, I can also go home and help my younger daughter to read.

Thank you for the encouraging story, Adana!

If you’re interested in classroom coaching, please check out the Classroom Coaching page for a list of programs. Don’t forget to submit your volunteering stories, and look forward to another post next week!