—Breaking up arguments over playground device and cleaning up juice field spills isn’t always the way maximum college students pick out to spend their free time. But Western Michigan University business student Sam McGrath isn’t always like maximum.
“I cherished getting a chance to work with children,” says McGrath, an honors scholar from Canton who is majoring in food and customer bundle goods advertising and marketing in addition to leadership and commercial enterprise approach. She just completed a direction on commercial enterprise ethics and sustainability, which calls for college students to complete 15 hours of network service with an employer in southwest Michigan and reflect on how the experience applies to their destiny careers.
More than a dozen network companions met with college students at the start of the semester, providing a wide style of studies in the whole thing from senior residing communities to hearth stations.
McGrath is passionate about analyzing and writing, so while it came time to choose an organization to paintings with, she at once gravitated towards Reading and Write Kalamazoo. The nonprofit “exists to have a good time and enlarge teenagers voices through the cultivation of reading and writing capabilities,” in step with its website.
“We are extremely grateful for our partnership with the WMU Service-Learning application,” says Kai Harris, volunteer coordinator for RAWK. “Simply positioned, having volunteers like Sam manner we can do what we do.”
The chance to help kids expand writing skills got McGrath enthusiastic about her provider learning project.
“I love hearing approximately human beings’ stories. I love that innovative aspect,” says McGrath.
Still, going from a university study room to a room packed with energized children is a culture surprise.
“You have to technique communication in a special way because the children have shorter interest spans and do not usually apprehend everything you are pronouncing, so I did a variety of figuring that out a primary couple of weeks,” says McGrath.
While it does not without delay fit with her profession goals, McGrath says she found out plenty from the standard students she worked with inside the after-faculty application at Kalamazoo’s Lincoln International Studies School. She coordinated snacks and undertaking as well as helped students with college work.

“A lot of the scholars simply desired to be heard. They just wanted to understand that you cared approximately them,” McGrath says. “I assume it is a transferable skill wherever you move, to make your employees or co-people feel that they’re a part of something.”
The skills youth take away additionally stretch beyond the school room.
“While our applications are supposed to assist adolescents to construct their literacy abilities via one-on-one tutoring with our pupil volunteers, the impact our volunteers have on college students goes past simply analyzing and writing,” says Jason Conde, RAWK’s director of training. “During the time our youngsters spend with scholar volunteers, they develop their self-assurance as readers and writers, understand the importance in their voices and testimonies and examine hassle solving, social-emotional and behavioral management talents.”

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