Anisa Shafiq, Marie Reed Elementary

Hi! My name is Anisa – I’m a fifth year at American University majoring in Sociology with a personal focus and interest in education. This semester I’m mentoring at Marie Reed Elementary with American University’s D.C. Reads and the Higher Achievement Program. This entails being a mentor to a small group of 6th grade students once a week on Tuesdays after school hours. During program, my group along with all the other mentors and their groups, meet for community meeting, where we do a fun activity or two to start the day off right. After that, we meet for about an hour in our small groups. During this time my co-mentor and I spend most of our time teaching a Higher Achievement provided math curriculum to our four students. Sometimes, splitting off into two small groups is required due to our scholars’ achievement levels, and sometimes one-on-one mentoring is required. After this hour is over, all of the groups get together once again to recap the evening and have Higher Achievement deliver some announcements.

This is my second semester doing service with CSLP, and the second program I’ve worked with. My first semester, I served with KidPower. It was a very different experience than working with HAP, and at first, I was very overwhelmed at the amount of structure and guidance I seemed to be getting. I attended hours and hours of orientations and was handed a bunch of packets with tons of instructions, and this was not at all how KidPower was being run. The format of everything was so different than what I had been previously exposed to. I was very nervous at first. But as the weeks went on, I realized that it was the same basic principle – being there for these students that counted on seeing me once a week, whether that was teaching them how to do decimal division or playing a game with them. It was still being a mentor. KidPower taught me SO much – it’s the foundation that I have in regards to working with younger students. Being a mentor with HAP has allowed me to continue to do so, on a smaller scale.

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