Monday, November 30, 2009

Why Do You Serve?

My elementary school site absolutely loves Generations Incorporated. I generally get stopped in the hall about 20 times a day by children asking me to take them to read. If it is a child that I know we serve regularly, I tell them that they will need to wait their turn to see their reading coach. If it is a child that I don't recognize, I usually ask them who their teacher is and tell them that they need permission from them before they can read with us. Today, just like any other day, I was stopped by a child on her way to the restroom with the question "Can you take me to read, please?" So, as usual I told her to ask her teacher. After she used the restroom, the first grader approached me a second time.

"Excuse me, do you take kids who don't know how to read good?" she asked.

"No, we are coaches who help kids read the best that they can," I replied.

"Oh okay. I really want to read with you because my parents can't read with me at home," she said, "my daddy works all day and night and my mommy is blind so she can't help me."

It took everything that I had to not show this child the internal struggle that was brewing, because anyone who knows me knows that I cry at just about anything that is remotely heartfelt. All of the training in the world could not have prepared me for this sobering encounter with a six year old. It was about the equivalent of watching an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and an SPCA commercial with Sarah Mclachlan belting out the song "Angel." It was enough to melt the heart of Cruella Deville. After speaking to her teacher, I learned that the child is already receiving outside help for a large portion of the week. Since the child took such initiative to be a part of our program, her teacher was happy to find a spot in her schedule to allow the girl to read with us twice a week.

It is difficult to put into words the effect that these kids have on me. They tend to put everything into perspective, making this experience more meaningful and important than I could have ever imagined. Each day brings on new surprises, challenges, and rewards. Experiences like the one with this child today are sure to stick with me for life.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Introducing the 09/10 Generations Incorporated State Members

For our first AmeriCorps State 2009/2010 blog entry, we wrote a song to the tune of Camp Grenada (Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda). This song introduces all of the new 9 State Members and gives a small window into our first month of orientation with Generations Incorporated. We hope you enjoy...keep an eye out for the video blog entry at a later date.

-Molly Dutter and Maddie Kiuttu

Goodbye Mother, Goodbye Father

I am off to, serve some others

Red Sox fans are, very vocal

I will have to drop my R's so I sound local

On the first day, of orientation

We became members, of Generations

Got in groups to, scavenge Boston

Turns out that this East Coast city is quite awesome!

Got through one whole, month of training

Canceled hiking, cause it was raining

No one told us, about our cluster

Julie knew and said that we just had to trust her

Take me home to Coolidge Corner

There are five States to discover

Don't touch Jason's tortellini

Elvia is a Twitter Queenie

If you want to, see Zach cryin'

Watch a chick flick, with Meg Ryan

Lisa's laugh is, quite contagious

Molly cut 2000 meatballs, how outrageous!

Oh but wait there's, four more Staties

One's a gent and, three are ladies

One is Amy, she's a sweet one

One is Karleigh and when you're with her you'll have great fun!

Who's got overalls, and a beard?

Look its Joe out, in Revere!

Then there's Maddie, she's a great chick

When you have a bad day she's there for you real quick

What a great bunch, of new Staties

They were all born, in the eighties!

So glad they joined, the team this year

Hope our singing was too not bad and hurt your ear!