DURHAM — Charter schools are new to North Carolina, but they have something in common with public schools: they welcome volunteers to give a hand.
For the past month, Durham Community Charter School has benefited from the help of graduate student Tara Poe. During each 90-minute session, Poe fine-tunes her teaching skills and the kids benefit from her attention.
"Let's keep on reading and see what happens," she encourages her table full of budding scholars.
Poe says she was accepted by the kids immediately. To hear her tell it, it was magic from the start.
"It was fine. They were excited I was here," she said. "I was someone to work with them in a small group. (Their acceptance) was just immediate. They wanted that attention and I wanted it, too. So they've been great."
Allison O'Reilly coordinates family resources at the school. The doors opened to 75 students last fall, and O'Reilly says teachers would love to have more volunteers.
"This is a wonderful chance for people to give service to the community because these children really need the individual help," she said.
Help is needed, and people need not have experience in early childhood education. The teachers and students would welcome even 30 minutes' help in listening to reading practice or helping with math.
Every day's a good day for Tara at this school. She leaves knowing she's touched the minds of the future in a powerfully positive way.
If you have a love for children and the desire to make a difference, call our Volunteer for the Children hotline at 1-800-561-0343.