Sunday, February 02, 2014

Miles-a-Minute Challenge #21: Helping Others

Here's my challenge answer for today's Miles-a-Minute video, "Russell Wilson - Super Bowl."

(Coincidentally, Russell Wilson is the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, one of the teams playing in the Super Bowl today).

Discuss/Describe one group of people in your community that you would enjoy reaching out to and helping. Explain how it will make you feel.

I think I would enjoy reaching out to people who are learning to read - either kids who are just learning or people who are illiterate. Reading has been such a big part of my life since I was very young (I learned to read at 3 1/2), and I would not have learned how to if my parents had not taught me. And from reading I have learned a lot of things. It is an important skill that everyone should possess.

It reminds me of how, when the Harry Potter books came out, they got a lot of kids into reading who didn't like reading before. While I haven't written much stuff for kids (really not since I was one), I would hope stuff I write would encourage people to try reading as well.

I got a taste of helping people this way after I joined Sigma Tau Delta, an international English honors society, while at CSUSM. Like is common with Greek societies, we were required to do community service of some kind. So a couple times a year, we went over to the preschool on campus (which is there for the purpose of students who have young kids, so their kids have some place to go and be taken care of while they're in school) and read to the kids. Basically we went out in the playground in the back and sat with the kids and read whatever books they brought us. This included books like Goodnight Goon (a parody of the classic book Goodnight Moon), The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog (a hilarious book!), and I'll Love You Forever (a very emotional book by Robert Munsch which was published way back in the '80's that my parents read to me when I was little). It was fun. You forget just how cool and interesting and sometimes funny kids' books are when you become an adult.

Also I contributed books to the Harry Potter Alliance's Accio Books book drive a few years ago. I donated some to my local library as part of the drive, and the rest I sent to them to be sent to a school in Rwanda. (I've also dropped books in the Better World Books donation boxes at school, though that's not as charitable an idea). 

I think helping people learn to read would make me feel very fulfilled, because I would be helping them acquire a skill that is not only useful for life itself, but also something that's very important to me and has changed my life.

I wonder if there's a ministry for this at The Rock? Or at least some place I could volunteer?

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