A book on a desk with a cup of tea

Volunteer Voices: The Gift of Books and Volunteers

May 6, 2021

*Blog post written by a Guild Volunteer Friend.

I have a friend who was introduced to me through Guild. She is a mother and grandmother who would like to improve her reading and writing of English in order to pursue her goal of teaching parenting skills to her Oromo friends.

To accomplish this, we have been reading various child development and parenting books together. Because of COVID, we are doing this by phone, reading books from the library when we can obtain two copies of the same book. My friend reads aloud, asking for help with unfamiliar vocabulary, and we discuss the content as we go along. We try to meet three times a week.

We have also read books for fun: Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. 

The books "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" and "Because of Winn-Dixie"

I have enjoyed working with my friend. She is eager to learn and determined to master the subject matter. The parenting topic is interesting to both of us. 

She has made good progress. Her reading, her vocabulary, and her comprehension have improved in the past months. She has told me that because she is getting the one-on-one help that she needs, her self-confidence has increased along with her skills. She is encouraged to believe she can achieve a long-term goal of going to college one day.

Volunteer Friends at Guild meet with Guild clients to help them feel less isolated. These meetings can take place however often and wherever the volunteer sees fit. During COVID-19, friends have met over the phone, video chat, or socially distanced outside. To learn more about becoming a Guild volunteer, click here