Volunteering for the Start2Finish Running & Reading Club at Woodland Heights Public School has been such an incredible, knowledgeable and fun learning experience for me. I have been able to establish meaningful relationships with the children at the Club and see it blossom week after week. Whether it's one child running up to give me a hug, or enthusiastically telling me about their day or wanting to share a story with me, I have formed special bonds with many of the kids.
At the start of the program, some of the children couldn't run more than one lap without stopping or read an entire complete sentence without guidance. As time has progressed, those same kids are now running in excess of 5 or 6 minutes without stopping or running with a few short walking breaks for upwards of 20 minutes. In addition, I have children in my group who once struggled with reading a full sentence now correcting their own mistakes and having the confidence to read out loud to myself or other volunteers.
Though the program isn't even halfway over yet, the improvements that I have seen thus far have been incredible. Not only am I delighted to have been apart of the children's growth, but I am excited to see what they can achieve by the end of this program. I am grateful to share this opportunity with my fellow mentors, volunteers and these amazing children and I know that our time and effort is positively impacting the lives of these children.