By Lois Jamieson
When I first began volunteering at StarShine I worked as librarian and reader of books. Every week I read books to the Kindergarten through seventh grade classes. This was very rewarding because I got to know the children and it was great fun. I came to love these poor kids who live in an at-risk community. One day, I was asked if I would add the high school classes to my schedule. I was a bit skeptical about the desire of those students to be read to. I was assured that they would love it. Up until this time I had only spent time with the older students when they came to the library to request a book. I’ll admit I was uncomfortable and a bit nervous reading to them. First of all, they were all bigger than I am and living a life I had no knowledge of. Most of them came from troubled homes or lived on the street..
The first thing was to find a book they might enjoy. I had just finished reading Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture” and thought it was such an inspirational book I decided to start with it. So, I gathered up my courage and walked into the high school class room, and immediately thought “what am I doing reading a book about a dying man to these kids?”.
After nervously clearing my throat several times, I began reading. To my amazement there was no fidgeting around, no talking, no falling asleep. They sat quietly at their desks looking right at me and just listened. I read for about thirty minutes and the big surprise came when I finished. They all stood up and applauded and said, “Thank you Mrs. Jamieson." From that first reading, I developed the same rewarding experience that I had with the younger children. I grew to love talking with them and getting to know some students very well. I’m not a teacher, never have been, so this experience gave me a certain confidence in the classroom I had not had.
The idea of starting an after school Fashion/Etiquette Club for the high school girls came out of the time I spent with the high school classes. Later I added a Manners Matter Club for the eight to twelve year old girls. I don’t read to any of the students now that I have two clubs and the library to care for. But I remember just what a wonderful growing experience it was for me.
God bless these kids without stuff!
For more Reflections on Kids Without Stuff, go to: Get in the Boat