Monday, December 08, 2008

On Being a Homework Helper

Throughout the month on the Flex Calendar at various libraries around San Diego, the homework helpers come out. I joined the homework helpers at the College/Rolando branch library this week and assisted a couple of students with their studies. It felt good to cheer on a second grader as she rocked through her addition assignment and then prodded a bit to get her through the reading comprehension material. When I learned from the second grader's mom that the two of them had been working for an hour on a book report prior to the work I was supervising, it occurred to me that the mom certainly deserved the break I was providing.

When I was approached by two high schoolers looking for help with their algebra, I am sorry to admit that I was not quite up to the challenge. I did find them some other help and left the project resigned to recruit a certain math whiz in my life for an upcoming Homework Helper project.

Math whizzes are great, but most everyone will be a great addition to a Homework Helpers project. No tutoring experience is necessary and lots of great kids are waiting for some encouragement and assistance.

Anna Schulz is a member of the Flex program and a volunteer blogger for Volunteer San Diego. She also writes for her family blog, The Full Catastrophe.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Conversation: Step up

On Sunday, November 30, the Sacramento Bee dedicated much of the Forum section to service and volunteering. The centerpiece of the feature was an article authored by Sue Carter, the Executive Director of Volunteer San Diego.

The Conversation: Step up
Hosted by Daniel Weintraub
Published Sunday, Nov. 30, 2008

Communities across California and the United States face an uncertain future. The economic downturn is leaving many people suffering and looking to government and community organizations for support. Funding for these services cannot keep up with increased demand. In fact, many people and organizations expect to give less next year.

At the same time, we are experiencing a renewal of civic spirit and an increase in interest and participation in volunteering.

Many wonder what would be possible if we transformed public good will into solutions for our neighbors and the organizations that serve them. Increased donations of volunteer time and talent are critical additions to our current philanthropic gifts of money and goods, but it will require a major shift in the way many people think about service. Fortunately, that's starting to occur. The entire notion of volunteering is undergoing a radical transformation; what has long been seen as nice has increasingly become necessary.

To read the entire article, click here.

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