I got became a volunteer intern for the Village at Ithaca (VAI) through my Sustainable Communities class. This non-profit organization advocates "for excellence and equity in Ithaca's public schools, by developing strategic community relationships, programs, and services to ensure that students, particularly Black, Latino, and low-income students, consistently meet or exceed local and New York state standards of achievement."
As an intern, the main task was to create a training manual for learning facilitators. Learning facilitators are more than just tutors, they are people that connect with child and inspire them to learn and have confidence in their ability. I became a learning facilitator in addition to creating the training manual and various other forms. Making a connection with the student is a huge step in getting them motivated to do their work and develop their desire to learn.
I also helped the organization with events they create and outreach. I helped with their event "Path to Success" which brought students who may need help to hear the speaker Alfred Watts. Watts inspires students to follow their dreams and is wonderful motivational speaker that helped me personally as well. My involvement with this event was helping registration and general logistics of the entire operation.
Another event that I lent my hand in was the "Lift Every Voice" Concert which is a benefit concert for the Village at Ithaca. I tabled at this event and educated concert goers about the organization.
Apart from VAI specific events, I also participated in outreach for the VAI at Ithaca's Kids Bookfest. We had a table set up where we read Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters to children who stopped by. I also helped the kids with a craft project we had set where they could make their very own book. I helped with set-up and take-down with this event and the whole experience was very fun.
As of mid-November, the training manual is still in draft form. We may also be creating a video for new learning facilitators to view which can be the first step in the training process.