Last June, I wrote a letter ("Support Plan for Northeast Prep") anticipating the expanded school day taking place at the Douglass Campus and featured in the October 10 issue of City ("Fad or Fix: RCSD Gambles on Longer Days"). The letter described the vision of the trial program where community members provide enriching after-school experiences. Volunteers would teach a wide range of engaging mini-courses like yoga, cooking, art, dance, sign language, computers, music, photography, drama, weightlifting, and chess. Tutors, mentors, and coaches would offer the kind of one-on-one support often missing from students' academic and home lives.
This year I have worked several after-school sessions. The students are there. The regular teachers are there. But so far, we are short much-needed volunteers.
As discussed in the City article, Wegmans is recruiting a volunteer workforce of employees to help students, particularly with literacy needs. The program is progressing, and much appreciated. But Wegmans cannot do it alone. We still need the whole community to pitch in.
So come spend some late afternoons at Douglass. Talk with kids. Read books. Play badminton. Dust off your algebra skills. Make theater costumes. Write poems. Improve your Spanish. Design web sites. Remember your American history. Take photos. Sing. Taste new foods. Build schools. Build neighborhoods.
If I am there, see if you can win at chess.
For more information, contact Ty Kelly, Director of Youth Development, at Ty.Kelly@wegmans.com
DAVID KRAMER, BRIGHTON
Kramer is a Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History.