My Experience So Far…by Indira Deenanauth
My name is Indira and I have hit the six month mark with my term of service and it is hard to believe that time has flown by so quickly. As an AmeriCorps VISTA serving with HandsOn Northeast Ohio, I am focusing on Anton Grdina Elementary in the Greater Central Neighborhood.
The elementary school is in an academic state of emergency and I am offering to lend support to the students, teachers and parents. I work with fourth and fifth graders through a weekly Homework Help program which focuses on reading and math comprehension. I also run HandsOn’s Saturday Service Warriors program which teaches students about volunteering, issue areas such as hunger and homelessness, seniors, animals and healthy habits. I came into this position not knowing what to expect, and I feel that my perspectives on so many different concepts have changed in a very short amount of time.
Starting my year of service, I wasn’t sure how great I would be at working with children because I had never worked with elementary aged children before. I honestly thought they would be unruly and mean. However, they have become the best part of my job. This should have been a given from the beginning, but the children I work with are the loveliest people I have ever met. To know that in a few short weeks I will not see them in this capacity is heartbreaking.
I also see a genuine positive change in the students which I credit to the amazing tutors who take the time to build relationships with the students. There is a mutual respect between students and tutors that for some reason, I did not expect. I know that when the students run up to me at school that they are happy to see me, and I hope they realize how truly wonderful it is for me to see them.
I am happy to be a part of the AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) movement and consider this as a career building and changing experience.
Student Academic Success
HandsOn Northeast Ohio
4614 Prospect Ave. Suite 223
Cleveland, OH 44103