By Jenette Vogt
During my first week back in Kentucky after a few weeks at home with my family for Christmas break, we received our first snow. School was cancelled for a few days, and I enjoyed that time at home with my volunteer community. But, after the weekend I was ready to get back in the classroom to see the students I had been working with all year. For the first time in my life, I prayed that we would have school the next day. Never would I have imagined that I would be wishing for school more than wishing for a snow day.
Then next morning I woke up and instantly looked at my phone, no new notifications which meant school was happening! I was up, ready to go, out the door, excited for my first day back. I walked into my first classroom and was greeted by fifteen third graders who were not so excited to be back at school but very excited that the Camp AJ staff was back in the classroom.
Before I could sit my stuff down, a student came up to me with a huge smile on his face and said, "Miss Jenette, you're back!" He doesn't know it, but that moment made my week. It felt great to know that these students were excited for us to be back. Talking to the students about their Christmas break and snow day activities that day helped me remember why I am here serving in Kentucky. I had lost sight of CAP's mission and got wrapped up in the numbers.
While it would be easy for me to go into the classroom and help the students improve their math skills every day, my purpose here is to "build hope, transform lives, and share Christ's love." While these kids do need help improving their math and reading skills, they need mentors, friendship, and open ears ready to listen to their stories even more. I am extremely blessed that I get to be that friend and mentor and very thankful that these teachers have opened up their classrooms to us. I am excited to continue working in the schools this semester and looking forward to getting to know these students even more.
Jenette is an AmeriCorps Camp Educator/Summer Camp Counselor living in the Jackson Volunteer House. She is a 2016 graduate of Eastern Illinois University. Opinions expressed in volunteer blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of CAP or the Volunteer Program.