Kate – A long-time volunteer in schools.

Some kids don’t have the parental help for many different reasons. It might be a language barrier as a new Canadian. It might be that parents can’t, or won’t, because of parenting styles or mental health issues or whatever. I find that school — and this is a political thing — with the curriculum nowadays, demands a lot more parental involvement and a lot more homework. It really disadvantages kids who, for whatever reason, can’t get any of that help at home. I can help these children by volunteering. It’s almost like a surrogate parenting role so that the child can get the extra help. That’s part of the reason I volunteer.

I’ve volunteered for 4 years with small kids at the school. I’ve had some ‘project kids’. These are kids I work with on extra early literacy activities beyond Strong Start®.

I did a homework session with a kid who had already been through Strong Start®, just because he couldn’t get the help at home. There was no sense sending work home. It would never come back–it would be lost or something. I helped him with homework before he went home. Through Strong Start® I built a good relationship with this child and I get a lot of satisfaction continuing to work with him and following his progress over the next year or so. This is an example of how Strong Start® can grow to become something more encompassing.

You can’t save the world but if you can do one or two things it makes a difference! It’s the small things you do that ultimately make a difference in a kid’s life. I guess it’s like leveling the playing field in a kid’s life.