Tiny Smiles

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As I walked inside the room, a wave of looks turned my way. Tiny Mona Lisa smiles were directed towards me by different children, who weren’t sure about accepting me into their lives. As silly as it seems, I wanted to hide, to become invisible to the kids who seemed like judges trying to find out my true identity. The room was colorful, exceptionally spacious and full of desks. The walls were filled with little hand prints, perfect scored tests, and master pieces of art.
“Hello” the teacher greeted me, “I’m Mrs. T”
“Hello, I’m Nadia, and I’m here to tutor” I mutter shyly.
“Well that’s great, we love new tutors!” she exclaimed cheerfully.
I smiled back, relief traveling through my veins, I was grateful about being wanted there, Mrs. T then introduced me to the class while soft smiles snickered silently. The teacher then assigned me a table for the day, the adventure had begun. I talked to the kids in my table during the food break, my table was the first graders, they were shy just like me, but as we talked, they came to like me, and I came to like them too. I helped them with their math, practicing adding with colorful M&Ms and jumping beans. When we went outside, we could hear the buzz of the rope as we jumped the rope and counted how far we each could do. I came close to the kids almost instantaneously, and even forgot that I was only there to complete community hours. It was indeed a very fun day. That was the first day I volunteered in the Si Se Puede Learning Center, an after school program for grades 1 to 6, in Phoenix, Arizona. The institution was created in order to help kids with reading, writing, math, and science, combined with fun physical and art activities to learn while having fun. For a tutor like me, it is a lot of fun to work with the kids; they are so adorable, and loving. We do a lot of activities, like reading books, making science experiments, and crafts. The kids are always so enthusiastic and full of energy, and if sadness ever attempts to push them down, we, the tutors, are there to cheer them up, and to be a friend. In retrospect, I remember thinking of volunteering almost as a chore; however, once I discovered the delight of volunteering, I couldn’t help it but keep doing it. The best part is walking through the door and feeling that warm welcome feeling that the kids give you. Seeing the smiles, and hearing the gratifying laughter of this kids who come to trust you and admire you, is the greatest gift of volunteering. The tiny smiles taught me that volunteering is definitely not a chore, but a delight in life.





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