Many students at Auburn University get involved volunteering right at the start of their college careers. One of these students is sophomore Alex Kavadellas who has been volunteering with Loachapoka Elementary School since the start of her freshman year of college.
Kavadellas is very dedicated to her volunteer work and volunteers at least once a week and sometimes even twice a week. She has been working with the elementary school students for the past two years now.
Kavadellas has always dreamed of becoming an elementary school teacher, which is one of the many reasons she is getting an early start by familiarizing herself with the elementary school. She thinks it will be valuable work experience and it will further her desire to be an elementary school teacher.
When Kavadellas arrives to the school, they are all ready done with class for the day. The students that stay during after school have parents that are working and unable to pick them up right when school ends.
Kavadellas gets to work with students of all grade levels and her work varies from day to day. According to Kavadellas, “I help them with their homework or I simply play games with them. I am mainly there to help keep the students on task and to entertain them when they are finished with any homework that they have to complete.”
Kavadellas can really see the impact that the volunteers have on the students. These students come from families with lower incomes. Therefore, some students do not have mother/father figures in their lives. Kavadellas said, “the volunteers become positive role models for the students and exemplify important values such as honesty, commitment, reliability, and confidence.”
Volunteering for this elementary school definitely brings struggles and challenges everyday. Kavadellas said, “The greatest challenge with volunteering at the elementary school was based off of the fact that the students had already been in class all day long. It can be very difficult keeping students on task when they are working on their homework. At a certain point, they give up because they have been working all day, and it can be a challenge trying to keep them motivated to continue.”
Working through these struggles and challenges gives Kavadellas real life experience for what the teachers go through everyday. She has definitely learned a lot about herself and what it will take to become an elementary school teacher.
Kavadellas said it has been a privilege working with the students of Loachapoka. She has learned that she can be patient when working with these students, which is something she had not realized about herself and is an important characteristic of an elementary school teacher.
Kavadellas concludes by saying, “Seeing a smile on the face of a child I have been working with inspires me to continue to volunteer. Volunteering for Loachapoka Elementary School has enriched my life, and it is something I will continue to do throughout my time here at Auburn.”