My name is Emily Clapp and I am a senior in CAS. The class that I am connecting my CSLP credit to is my Child Psychology class. We talk about development of language, thoughts, learning. We also talk about how the caregiver affects the child. I was originally drawn to working with children after working at a pool and ice rink the past three years in the Washington DC area. My favorite part of working was checking the children into the pool or rink and having them hang out at the desk with me. I know I want to work with children in the future and felt that this class would be a good idea to test my interest. I decided to focus on learning and wanted to tutor children and ended up picking the organization called For the Love of Children. It is based in Adams Morgan and it runs different programs like: math, reading, and SAT tutoring as well as leadership tutoring. The point of the program is to bring the children’s skills up to their grade level. I thought it would be a good chance to interact with youth in DC and help the children improve their skills. Most of the children are travelling far from areas like Southeast to receive the tutoring that comes free of charge.
I work in the math and tutoring program at the main office of For the Love of Children; the program lasts two hours at a time for each session. Usually you are assigned to the same child. For example, I have Joel in my reading and comprehension tutoring program on Tuesday nights from 6-8 pm. Together we work through packets of lessons that are given and they can include: spelling tests, identifying different noun types such as proper, abstract, or concrete, understanding different meanings of words, word sounds, etc. We also are trying to improve his reading level so during free reading I let him choose a book that interests him. There are also games for the children such as I’ll take a vocabulary word and have Joel try to spell it. For example I made him spell words before he was allowed to throw the ball into the trashcan. We also played hangman which is a good opportunity to improve spelling.
I didn’t have many expectations going into it as I have never one-on-one worked with kids before. Though I was quite excited. During the orientation and training we didn’t actually get to work with the kids but was given a training session and a list of expectations. Joel was a good kid and I am definitely excited to work with him. I think the only challenging part was trying to keep him engaged and from getting bored. For most activities I centered questions about basketball because it is his favorite sport. Such as I asked him how to spell National Basketball Association when we were playing trashketball and different basketball moves during hangman. I am definitely going to try to learn more about basketball so I can continue to incorporate it more into activities.