Growing up, everyone always knew that I was the kid who loved to read. I started at a very early age, finishing the first Harry Potter book at only five years old. I even took it upon myself to teach my brother how to read when he was very young. For me, the ability to read and appreciate words felt like the most important gift that I could give someone, and on our third day in New York, I got to meet an organization which felt that same way.
Following a hectic (and, frankly, overwhelming) experience at a Brooklyn public school just one day earlier, my group and I were not necessarily looking forward to going to another program that involved children. Thankfully, Reading Partners turned out to be the complete opposite of our previous after school program experience. We got the chance to tutor kids who had been falling behind the rest of their class and needed a little extra help with reading. The one-on-one style allowed us to really connect with the children. I know that I learn better in a comfortable environment, so I hope that was true for some of the kids I got to work with, too!
The experience was so rewarding. The program is designed so that the tutor and the student are a team: we trudged through the more difficult lessons, enjoyed books and stories, and rejoiced in every triumph together. Of all the experiences that I had on my Alternative Break trip, my time with Reading Partners found a very special place in my heart. I can't wait to continue sharing the love for reading with kids back home in San Francisco.