Welcome to 2011, from Shannon Davis, your friendly, neighborhood Communication and Development Manager with the Whiz Kids program.
So, I didn't make any New Year's Resolutions this year, but one (or actually several!) seemed to have found me anyway, in the form of a 7-year-old girl at one of our Whiz Kids sites. After being on-staff at the Whiz Kids office for a bit over a year, I thought I understood our program pretty well. That assumption was changed this week, when, after a series of circumstances (that could only be God-led) I became the tutor of a child I'll call "Faith". After just one week of being Faith's tutor, I now have a much deeper understanding of the vital importance of Whiz Kids in the lives of Oklahoma City's most needy children. I also have a whole set of New Year's Resolutions:
1. I resolve to be the very best encourager and friend I can be to Faith, who, as a second-grader, is still only an "emergent" reader (which, in part, means she is reading below a 1st grade level and finds it difficult to read and comprehend even a simple pre-school board book).
2. I resolve to work harder to personally recruit additional tutors for children who are on the waiting list at nearly all of our Whiz Kids sites. The site where I tutor now has had children on the waiting list for up to four years! And now those children are struggling in fifth and sixth grade, which puts them on the path towards dropping out of high school.
3. I resolve to thank the family I grew up in and the teachers who inspired me to be a life-long learner and an avid reader. Without those people, my life would not be nearly as rich and satisfying as it is today. In fact, without the ability to read, I wouldn't now be getting to know the funny, outspoken, and heart-breakingly honest little girl who was waiting for me on the curb when I went to pick her up for our first tutoring time together. Even days later, I get a little choked up when I recall the scene of her, standing in the cold dusk, in front of a derelict house, in her hot pink coat, waiting for me.
So, those are my resolutions, and I invite you to check back occasionally to see where Faith and I go together in the next months. For this week, I've enlisted the help of my youngest daughter (Gracie, age 11) to help me make a special "Birthday Book" for Faith, who will turn eight next week. I can't wait to help her read it!
Thu, January 6, 2011
by Shannon Davis filed under