REACH stands for Raising Education Attainment Challenge. The REACH Program at the Cornell Public Service Center is a student initiative consisting of Team Leaders, America Reads/Counts Challenge tutors (ARCC), and volunteer tutors committed to supporting community organizations and schools serving children’s academic and social needs.

The purpose of the program is to recruit and mobilize a diverse, talented group of tutors so that they may have the necessary resources, peer support, and leadership to assist in the enhancement of academic achievement of children and youth in grades pre-K-12th.

Friday, March 27, 2009

On Releasing My Inner Kid... - Melanie Lipton (IACC)

There are so many things I love about REACH. I love getting a break from craziness of campus, my prelims and papers. I love spending time with the kids at my site, but most of all, I love that my time spent at IACC helps me release my inner kid. A few weeks ago, my inner kid was brought back to the days of elementary school and show and tell.

Over Winter Break, I took a 10 day trip to Israel through a program called Birthright. I had told Lyn, my site supervisor about it before I left for the semester and she was so excited for me. When I called her in January to discuss my new schedule and when I would start, she asked me how the trip went and if I had any pictures to show her and the kids. When I went in to the site later that week, I brought the scrapbook I had made. My site supervisor was so impressed by the book that she insisted I do a show and tell with the kids. They all sat around the carpet in a circle as I brought out my book. Most of them listened intently as I flipped through the pages and explained the pictures from my amazing journey.

What was really special for me was being able to share some of my life with these kids that I have come to know so well. I see them on a weekly basis, I’ve met their parents and their siblings, but they have never really seen my life outside of REACH and Ithaca. This little show and tell allowed the kids to see part of my life, to see me as more than just someone who helps them with their homework and plays in the gym with them. For me, that is what REACH is all about, not just helping these kids academically, but letting them into your lives like friends. I’m glad I got to get in touch with my childhood self and bring in a little show and tell.

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