Madelaine Griswold and Lucy are both a part of the after school program at the BakerRipley Harbach campus. Lucy is a 10-year-old student and Madelaine is a volunteer who comes every week to tutor and read to the kids.
“I help out with the program because I get a lot of satisfaction from it,” Madelaine shares. “I love to read – to me, it’s like the best escape, makes your mind go wherever you want it to go. I hope I can impart that to someone – that love of reading.”
Volunteering with the program since October, Madelaine works with Lucy and the other students on reading, homework and fun learning activities.
“You are never bored here, you are always doing something,” Lucy explained. “My favorite part of the program is going out into the garden and interacting with everyone out there. Watering, planting and getting my hands dirty.”
Lucy wants to be a veterinarian one day, and she loves animals. She works to keep her grades up, and says that Madelaine and her afterschool instructor help her when she’s stuck.
“I learned about BakerRipley after Harvey, and with my kids out of the house now, I wanted to found somewhere I could read with kids,” Madelaine said. “While that’s not exactly what I do here, there’s enough of that and I get to help kids with homework.”
The classroom is bright and full of artwork the kids have created. A quote surrounded by paper butterflies reads “If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies.” Madelaine works with a first grader on his worksheets, Lucy colors an owl and a group of kids play a counting game at the other table.
“Helping people brings me joy – seeing them learn something new and seeing when it clicks.”
Do you have a skill you want to share or just looking for ways to volunteer? Sign up here.