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Volunteer at my old elementary school
Personal Development & Community

Why were you inspired to do this?

In Holland, everyone in tenth grade ("Vierde klas" in Dutch) has to do something for charity. Most people didn't really care about what they were going to do, but I really wanted to do something meaningful. I chose to volunteer at my old elementary school (in the Netherlands, we call it "basisschool") because I had a great time there when I was younger, and I wanted to do something back for the awesome teachers that work at the school. I asked two friends, who also have to volunteer, if they would help me and they've said yes, so the three of us volunteered together, although I was the leader of the group.

What were 3 things you did to make this happen?

I asked my mentor if I could volunteer in June instead of this week (week 19 of 2010). All elementary schools are closed right now because it's "meivakantie" (I don't know if this holiday exists in other countries, but it's a holiday in the Netherlands that started this year on Queens day on the 30th of April, and it lasts two weeks for elementary school students and one week for high school and middle school students). Fortunately, my mentor gave me and my friends permission to volunteer in June instead of in May.

Think about what I want to do. I decided to teach the children in fifth grade about children their age from all over the world and the way those children live. Some kids live under really bad circumstances, and I hope that the fifth graders will realize that their life isn't so bad compared to the lives of other children. I'm going to let them think about ways we can help those children.

I'm trying to make this project as fun as possible, because the fifth graders will be much more motivated if they like the project. I'm making little brochures with information about children in countries such as Brazil and Madagascar, so that the students learn about other cultures and the way children live over there. I'm also contacting charity organisations such as Unicef and ask them for extra information that we could use.

How did you feel once you had accomplished this?

It took a lot of time, but it was a very fun day. I was a little bit angry at my teammates, because the day before we would volunteer they told me that they would come later because they had something else to do so I had to arrange a substitute. They were also very shy around the children and teachers and didn't really do things on their own. However, I am glad the children liked it (at the end of the day, they wanted to shake my hand and thank me, and they told me in person that they liked the project). Doing things like this and making children happy by doing it is a very rewarding job.



1/9/2011 7:38:04 AM

Congratulations, we have linked your story on the My Life List 90 (#16) to inspire others. Thank you so much for sharing this great story.

Why do you want to do this?

In Holland, everyone in tenth grade ("Vierde klas" in Dutch) has to do something for charity. Most people didn't really care about what they were going to do, but I really want to do something meaningful. I chose to volunteer at my old elementary school (in the Netherlands, we call it "basisschool") because I had a great time there when I was younger, and I wanted to do something back for the awesome teachers that work at the school. I asked two friends, who also have to volunteer, if they would help me and they've said yes, so the three of us are going to volunteer together now.

What three things will you need to make this happen?

I asked my mentor if I could volunteer in June instead of this week (week 19 of 2010). All elementary schools are closed right now because it's "meivakantie" (I don't know if this holiday exists in other countries, but it's a holiday in the Netherlands that started this year on Queens day on the 30th of April, and it lasts two weeks for elementary school students and one week for high school and middle school students). Fortunately, my mentor gave me and my friends permission to volunteer in June instead of in May.

Think about what I want to do. I decided to teach the children in fifth grade about children their age from all over the world and the way those children live. Some kids live under really bad circumstances, and I hope that the fifth graders will realize that their life isn't so bad compared to the lives of other children. I'm going to let them think about ways we can help those children.

I'm trying to make this project as fun as possible, because the fifth graders will be much more motivated if they like the project. I'm making little brochures with information about children in countries such as Brazil and Madagascar, so that the students learn about other cultures and the way children live over there. I'm also contacting charity organisations such as Unicef and ask them for extra information that we could use.

What is the biggest barrier to your achieving this?

It takes a lot of time and at the moment I've got lots of homework. My grades aren't that high, so I should make sure that I use my time efficiently and not get into trouble for getting lower grades.

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