Starting in September last semester, I had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer for After-School All-Stars (ASAS) at Moler Elementary. I first experienced the amazing work this non-profit organization does for the children of Columbus when I volunteered at the New Albany Classic, a Grand Prix horse showjumping event. As a member of the OSU Hunt Seat Equestrian team, my club volunteered in the V.I.P. Children’s tent, where ASAS was hosting activities. After having a wonderful experience with the leaders who were there, I gave them my contact information in the hopes of becoming more involved. A few weeks later, I began my time at Moler Elementary!
My first day was overwhelming, but the kids were very welcoming and seemed to love getting to know me, although I have to say they provided me with more joy than I probably provided them. I worked with kindergartners and first graders and was usually partnered with one or two other college students to lead the class. We begin the time by helping them with any homework, or, if they don’t have any assignments from class, we provide them with enrichment activities or worksheets. Then, we do a craft or science experiment. Most recently, they learned about chemical reactions and making hypotheses through a “dancing raisins” activity, which compared the reactions of raisins with club soda, sprite, and baking soda and vinegar. After this activity, we have a structured physical activity, where we usually spend time teaching them a particular sport, such as soccer, basketball, or tennis. Finally, their favorite time of the day arrives: dinner! All of the children who participate in ASAS come from low-income families and in many cases, this meal is the only food they will receive until they come to school again the next morning.
I have enjoyed my time at ASAS more than I ever imagined I would. The children are incredibly sweet, even though they are much rowdier and require more discipline than I anticipated. Being able to be with them all year has allowed me to watch them grow and get to know them on a personal level. As a Public Affairs major, this experience has also peaked my interest in education policy, a large focus of the Glenn College. Even as kindergartners and first graders, I can see where their education is behind in some important aspects, especially reading. I would love to be able to help correct this through the channels of government and non profits, such as After-School All-Stars.
If you would like more information on how you can become involved in this wonderful organization, visit http://www.afterschoolallstars.org/. As a volunteer, they were very willing to have me come just for one day a week from 3-6 p.m., but there are also opportunities for part-time jobs and internships which are Monday – Thursday. You will not regret any of the time you give to this organization, which is truly life changing for the children who participate.