I met Darcy through a mutual friend at the end of 2009. I started volunteering at tutoring time in January 2010. I was on sabbatical from my faculty position at Widener University and it was nice to interact with kids under the age of 18 (18 year-olds know absolutely everything about the world, and are convinced their professors are clueless!) In addition, I really like the philosophy behind Tree House of growing and sustaining a community of readers, writers and thinkers. To me, that speaks of the old adage about teaching a man to fish and feeding him for a lifetime, rather than just giving somebody a fish and feeding them for a day. Tree House teaches kids how to fish.
I have tried to show up on a regular basis at Tree House this year and Ms. Lauren & Mr. Mike have been very gracious about my random comings and goings. It is special to walk in after an absence of 2 weeks or so and have Maurice run up to me and say “Ms Becky – where ya been?” or to have Brittany (JSM) come up and give me a hug. These kids have so much potential, I can’t wait to see them realize it all. I hope that, in some small way, I can help them in that endeavor.
P.S. I have a video of Kevin rapping/hip-hop/singing his song “Funny Money” during magazine night last week. I will try to upload it somewhere…..
A few weeks back, I had the pleasure of taking two of our young boys to the Hard Rock Cafe. My cousin had won a $25 gift card at our Life with Books fundraiser last month & he gave it to one of the boys. Talk about best experience ever. It wasn’t until I was with Kevin and Michael outside of Tree House that I noticed how absolutely awesome it is to know them and how honored I feel to be a part of their lives. I learned that night that I’m not just their tutor, I’m their friend and if I never volunteered at Tree House I wouldn’t know them…how crazy is that? I can’t imagine my life without Kevin, the 12-year-old kid who loves wrestling more than anyone I know; the kid who will do just about anything to make you laugh, and Michael his 13-year-old brother who lights up a room when he smiles, and loves to “make you look” whenever he gets the chance.
These boys are so special. That night we spent downtown will always top the list for me. We laughed, we ate, and I got to see them for who they really are…GREAT KIDS!
Michael loved his milkshake!
Kevin and me, waiting to be seated.
This was probably the only moment he wasn't talking about all the guitars on the walls
My name is Miss Jess. I have been volunteering at Treehouse since last Spring and I have made some current observations. I’m not the “new guy” anymore! I’m sure everyone has had an experience similar to mine. You know, when you have spent a significant time at a job and people start asking you for help or answers to questions? Well, my transition from being a new volunteer to being an older volunteer has been the most rewarding transition I have ever experienced. Being an older volunteer at Treehouse means the kids know you and know they can count on you. It means that you have shared memories with both other volunteers and the students. It means that Treehouse starts to feel like home.
I’m not the only one who is experiencing this transition either. I have noticed that some of the kids are starting to feel the same way, which is a huge success in itself.
This fall semester has been a really fabulous Treehouse time. Here is a picture to prove it:
so much fun.
We will need extra volunteer help tomorrow to decorate for our Holiday Book Sale & Craft Fair. Any volunteers around who love to make paper snowflake & hang up Christmas lights? Come in to Tree House Books around 2PM to lend an extra hand!
Hey all! I have been doing some photo organizing and came across some of these fun holiday throwbacks I thought I’d share with you!
Exploring Antique Row with the JSMs! December 2008
Magazine Launch Party Vol. 3 - December 2009
And in celebration of my trip to Japan… photos from International Night: Japan! April 2009
Ms. Kiki teaches us how to create origami!
I wish all our student volunteers luck with finals! And I hope everyone has a wonderful Winter Break!
Tomorrow night almost all of our volunteers (we have over 50 active volunteers, by the way!) will be in attendance for our bi-annual Volunteer Appreciation Night. We will have a potluck meal–including Mr. Mike’s famous chili–and an award ceremony :)
Can’t wait to see all of you!
Also, just so you know–last semester’s volunteer night was 90s themed:
Mr. Colwin is Captain Planet