After School

Outtakes 174

After School

by Cait Collins


Recently I spent a day cleaning out the closet in my study. I knew there were a number of boxes of supplies I used for teaching younger kids, but I was surprised to see all the craft naterials and project books I’d purchased over the years. Since I no longer teach the early childhood groups, I decided to box everything up and find a group that could use the supplies. A teacher friend told me they have an after school program for the kids, but there was no real budget for materials. She said they would be thrilled to have arts and crafts supplies.

I started thinking about all the education programs that go either under-funded or unfunded. Is there a place for us in enhancing the teaching of our kids? Of course we can help by donating craft supplies and small notebooks for journaling, but what about giving our time? Would the schools welcome writers coming in and helping students with homework, or writing projects? Maybe those who illustrate children’s books could assist with art projects.

I do believe we all have a place in educating our kids. It doesn’t have to be a big event. It could be something as simple as sitting with a child who is struggling with reading and helping him to improve his skills. Maybe it’s teaching colors or numbers. Perhaps it’s just allowing a child to have one-on-one time with a mentor. Why not check with your local school district administration and find out what opportunities are available? Helping one child improve his skills is worth the effort. That child might one day write the great American novel, or become a great teacher. It begins with a telephone call.

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