Submitted by: Lynne Arceneaux, CVI Volunteer
Editor’s note: This week is National Volunteer Appreciation Week. At CVI we honor and value all of our volunteers who assist us with our mission of helping each client we serve to have independence with dignity. Below one of our volunteers shares her experience working with the STARS Program.
My volunteer experience with the Atlanta Center for the Visually Impaired was a stellar one from the very beginning! Following my interview with Lara Tillery, Volunteer Coordinator, and tour of the facility, I was very impressed with both Lara and the organization.
At the Meet and Greet for the volunteers, the staff and fellow volunteers were professional, organized, friendly and very dedicated to children who are in the STARS program. STARS is an afterschool and enrichment program for children with visual impairment. The activities of the program are coordinated in three age groups: first and second graders, third to fifth graders and sixth through eighth graders. My volunteer position was as a tutor to the younger groups and to assist the Art and Fitness teachers with their class activities.
The Staff at CVI is very supportive of their Volunteers and appropriate training and information are provided before beginning an assignment. The STARS Director and Staff members were very welcoming and a joy to work with. We had a great team always working hard, while having a good time, to coordinate the social and scholastic activities of up to forty students.
In the five months that I worked with STARS, I left each and every day with a smile on my face and a sense of belonging and accomplishment. The children in this program are amazing in their dedication to doing better at school, making friends and being part of the STARS team. They are wonderful kids and we had a lot of fun as we learned. It was truly enjoyable to interact with and tutor the partially sighted students with their reading, spelling, social studies, science and math homework. I was, however, very appreciative that we had a math prodigy in our group who was always happy to explain the more complex math problems to his fellow students! I was particularly gratified when one of my students, halfway through the year, told me that he had been placed in an accelerated reading group and had now great hopes of being advanced to a higher grade level next year.
Volunteering at CVI is a great way to make a positive difference and have a wonderful personal experience as well. I am looking forward to volunteering at the Retreat for the older kids at the end of April. I hope to continue volunteering at CVI with the STARS program next September.
Do you have a passion for volunteering? Would you like to volunteer at CVI? If so, please check out our websites’s volunteer page or call Lara Tillery, CVI’s Volunteer Coordinator at 404-875-9011.