It’s a win-win situation. For quite a few years I had been disappointed with the poor ratings of the Louisiana public school system where we usually are rated between the 47th and 50th worst in the United States.
At a time where education should be more and more important, here in Louisiana we seem to be in favor of destroying the public school system.
However, a few years ago, after I retired, a former co-worker got me involved in volunteer work in the East Baton Rouge Parish School System, and I discovered a win-win situation.
For the last four years I have been lucky enough to be involved with VIPS or Volunteers In Public Schools as a reading friend for students in the first four grades.
Quite a few years ago, I read that a California study showed that the most important thing that we could do to improve the results of students in public schools was to keep the student to teacher ratio at 14 to 1 or less.
Knowing that will not happen here because of budget reasons, the obvious answer is volunteer effort to aid the existing teacher staff. It works.
I have consistently found that helping students learn to read who have been identified by the teachers as needing help has not only been beneficial to the students but has been a win-win situation for me.
I find that I really enjoy the time I spend helping out at the EBR schools, even though I live in Prairieville.
I have consistently seen major improvements in the students that I have worked with. They do better and feel good about it, and I feel good about it.
Last semester I had a third grade student and at the end of the semester he was reading at what I would consider the fourth or fifth grade level and that was just from meeting a half hour a week every week.
It can work for just about anyone. If you’d like to participate, contact VIPS at everybodyreads@ ebrschools.org and give it a try. The rewards are great.
I can almost guarantee a win-win situation.