by Lois Jamieson
There is a marvelous small book called “To A Child Love is Spelled Time”, by Mac Anderson and Lance Wubbels. Their book carries a great message. I often pick it up and read a few pages because I agree with them that what a child really needs from us is time.
My children and grandchildren are adults now and so my interest in children is centered around the children at a wonderful small school, StarShine Academy. StarShine serves children who live below poverty level in a crime area in Phoenix. I have volunteered at the school for over six years, and with my daughter, I have a blog called “Kids Without Stuff” and an upcoming book by the same name.
A lot of the children at StarShine have material needs – food, clothes, books and so forth. These are easy to fulfill. I only have to make a few phone calls and these needs can be met.
It is much harder to fill their need to be listened to. To be offered encouragement, love, values and strength. These needs can only be met when an adult gives them the gift of time. We do have dedicated volunteers as tutors and they certainly spend time with the children. I think, though, there is a need for what I call ‘listeners’. I have had the privilege of spending time with some, but not enough, of the children. I have read to the children and have spent time in special classes with many of the girls. This year I am going to try to do less talking and more listening.
Do yourself a favor and spend time with a child.
To read more about StarShine and the kids go to kidswithoutstuff.com