This will be my 12thyear at SMART. I am a retired teacher. I taught incorrections. Working with these children has been a really great thing for me to do. As I was reminiscing about all my years at SMART, it came to my attention that the kids I read with first will be seniors this year, which is a little bit crazy to think about.
I started at Aloha Park Elementary. My first few years as a reader were difficult because we did not have a place to read. We would meet in the hallway. It was very cramped. The children would see their brothers, sisters, and friends walk by, and they would get distracted. Our coordinator did a great job keeping everyone organized.
Whenever I return to the school to read the following year, I see the children I had read to in the past. I love when they recognize me and come and say hello.
In addition to working with wonderful children, I have also made a great friend who I met through this program. Last year, I finally got up enough nerve to ask one of the volunteers out to lunch. This started a wonderful friendship. We do lunch, go to movies, take stamping classes, and talk, talk, talk.
Rather than one specific story, I consider my experience as a SMART reader more of an “overall” thing. Throughout the years, I have had such a fabulous experience. I really think I get more out of it than the children do!
Happy 20th year to a super great program!