Phelps’ weekly elementary and high school sessions have started back up again this week, and we are once again looking for volunteers to help make our programs thrive. We welcome cegep and university students, as well as community members young and old. Over the last couple of years, we have had several international students from Bishop’s University volunteer with our organization. Yuyin, a student in the Masters of Education program has been volunteering with Phelps’ elementary programs for a year now and wanted to share some of her Phelps experiences:
Why do you volunteer?
I wanted to get more involved in the community during my stay here and give back in a meaningful way. I also really like working with children: they are very energetic and creative. It would be very nice if I could have a positive influence on their lives.
What do you think volunteers gain by attending Phelps’ sessions?
For me, I understand the education system in English schools in Quebec a bit more now. Furthermore, I learned to be patient when I was with the children; they need time to grow. At the same time, it is important to not treat them like babies, they have their own ideas about how the world works. They can be responsible and grown-up if you treat them accordingly.
Can you describe one of your favourite moments with the students?
There were many enjoyable moments, such as running around in the woods, playing games in the gym and working on team challenges with the kids. However, one moment stands out: we went outside to play before doing the activities inside and the students started opening up to me. They surprised me by totally trusting me and starting to share their life stories with me; they talked about their pets, family members, favorite games, etc. Sometimes, all you need to do is to just listen quietly.