Sunday, October 19, 2008

day +425

This morning I went out to see what I could capture of the start of the Tour de Bronx. This is the second year in a row that I've done this. Last year, I was wearing a surgical mask and gloves and got the opportunity to meet for the first time another prizefighter, Cliff.

I found out this week that the art institution to which I had applied for a part-time job froze new hiring due to the troubled economy. I was told, however, that this may change by the winter. Even before I received this news, I had been searching and other employment websites for potential leads. As I continue to look for a part-time position, I also want to give back in some way.

For some time, I've had an interest in literacy, especially adult literacy. When I first learned that nearly 97 million Americans can't read beyond the fifth grade level, I was astonished. How can this be possible in America? Senator Kennedy's speech at the Democratic National Convention in which he highlighted the successes of his Adult Literacy Act reminded me of this interest of mine which I had never acted upon. A recent interview of Bill Clinton on Larry King Live brought this issue to the fore once again when he talked eloquently about the need for a redefinition of what it means to be a citizen in this 21st century.

Clinton stated, "Intelligence and effort and dreams are equally distributed throughout the world, but systems, investment, and opportunity aren't."

Now, I have never worked with adults but I do have training in the after school tutoring of school children. I found a number of adult literary organizations online. So, a few days ago, I emailed one of them, which from its website seems quite good, expressing my interesting in volunteering. Hopefully, I'll hear something soon. I think this could be a great opportunity. From my past volunteer work, I remember quite vividly the joy in the eyes of the school children after they spelled a word correctly or solved a math problem. And I remember the great fulfillment that this brought me. Knowing how blessed I've been, it'd be great to help once again in the making some kind of positive difference.


Comment Blogger Mary said...

Hey Duane-

I bet you'll like volunteering with adults. I've taught sped in middle and high school for a few years now, and I first started teaching by teaching ESL to adults when I was in college for a few years. It was great, because they really wanted to learn and you could see how it improved their everyday lives (unlike the ungrateful monsters I teach now). I hope they respond soon!


7:06 PM  

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