I just completely my third week of volunteering, this has been my
experience so far:

Very simply, the kids at Cerritos need help with homework.   They are
intelligent, fun, happy kids that are struggling in school and have
very little resources to obtain additional help.  The lack of
understanding basic math, reading and writings skills has created a
compounding confusion that carries over from year to year.  For
example, this week a seven year old girl came to us with a completely
blank worksheet, come to find out, she can’t read one word on the
page.   So many questions come to our minds in situations such as
these:

How is she supposed to complete her math homework if she can’t read
the directions?  Do we just tell her the answers so she can at least
turn something in?  But what good does that do if she continues to get
by without really learning?  What is this doing to her self-esteem?  I
could go on and on, these situations arise all the time.

Still, we come everyday, and do whatever we can to help.  The
relationships and conversations that are taking place outside of the
classroom are proving to be just as important as the homework help.
It seems to me that consistently coming and showing interest in the
kids’ lives has given them something to look forward to, and beyond on
that, we can only hope that they slowly begin to realize that they are
smart, fun interesting kids worth peoples’ time.

They are more than capable of learning and bettering their lives
through education,  but they are not given the chance.

I feel lucky to be here, and I can’t express how much I am enjoying my
time in Cerritos.  Some days are harder than others, it’s never easy,
but I can feel small changes happening.  We are starting to learn more
names, and are starting to gain the kids’, and the community’s trust.
We still have a lot to learning to do, but we have an amazing team.

Thanks for reading!!!!!
Connie

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