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UD Community Corps

Who we are. What we do.

We share exciting stories about learning and service that make a difference in the Dayton area community.

Member Stories

Sydney is working on her Master’s Degree in School Counseling at the University of Dayton. She serves 10-12 hours a week as a Family Resource Aide with Dayton Children’s Hospital virtually at Kiser Elementary School. In this reflection, she reminds us that even a small gesture such as asking someone, “How is your day going?” can make a huge difference in the lives of others.

As I was reaching out to families reminding them about our Kiser Holiday Shop on December 12, 2020, they were all excited. There was one family that really stuck out to me. It was a single mom with two children. I was reminding her about the holiday shop, giving her the pickup time she was assigned, and answered any additional questions she had. I thought that would be the extent of our conversation. Then, at the end of our conversation, she told me how grateful she was for me and everything l have done for her so far. She continued to explain how there aren't a lot of people who check on her and how she's doing.

I always start out my messages to families asking how their day is going. I was the only one who ever asked her how she was doing that day, and genuinely meant it. She was also telling me how appreciative she was that I check-up on her, follow up about needs we discuss, and answer the questions she had in a timely manner. I was caught off guard but in a good way. I wasn't expecting that because I was taught to always make sure you ask how someone’s doing before jumping into what you have to say. It’s a sign of respect for them.

Even though these were little things that are a part of my everyday interactions with people, it meant the world to her. I was happy to hear that because it let me know what I am doing is impacting people no matter how small of an action it is, and I am making a difference in my community that I set out to make.


Aidan is a recent graduate from Kettering Fairmont High School. Before starting his undergraduate studies in Music Education at Ohio State University, Aidan decided to serve his community for a year as an AmeriCorps member with the UD Community Corps Program. Aidan currently serves 23 hours a week as a Library Instructional Aide with Dayton Metro Libraries. Aidan shares a few stories about the impact community tutors can have on student learning.

Making an Impact

I had a first grader who started coming in in my first couple of weeks serving. At first she really struggled with reading and math and needed a lot of help. When she came in and we would start working on her assignments, she'd always want to watch whatever videos she had, or whatever easy and fun activity she had to do first. As time went on she started improving and a simple spelling assignment or math worksheet, that before would have taken up half of the session, was like nothing to her - she was easily able to complete them. As she got better at math, that went from the last thing she wanted to do to the first, and when that was done, wanting to know if she could do the next day's math work too.

Around Thanksgiving she stopped showing up because her Mom’s work schedule had changed, but when she was able to come back again her Mom mentioned to me how much she loved coming in and that she had been asking to come back all the time.

It was reassuring to me to see that the service I was doing was having real, positive impacts. With most of the students that we have seen, they come in once or twice and we never see them again. I may be able to see how they improve from the beginning to the end of a session, but being able to see how they improve over time like this student did is very rewarding. Hopefully more students will get to have the same experience of getting better in school while enjoying the time they spend working at it.

Turning on Learning

The past few weeks I have had the opportunity to start working with a 6th grader pretty regularly. The first day he came in with some basic algebra homework, just introducing him to equations and expressions. However, after working with him for just a couple of minutes I realized that he could barely add or subtract without counting on his fingers, and when a question with multiplication came up he was totally lost. I knew I was going to have to go back a few steps so he could at least be closer to the level he needed to be at.

I started working with him on multiplication flash cards, going one group of numbers at a time. At first as we were going through basic multiplication facts, a few he knew the answer right away, but most of them if he couldn’t get it immediately he would just give up and tell me he didn’t know. Whenever we would get to a new card, I would help him work through finding the answer on his own, walking him through step by step. But after a little practice, a new card would come up and he would excitedly turn around to write it out and try to figure it out himself.

He started being able to learn new sets more quickly, and when he got stuck, he looked like he was starting to see it not as an impossible roadblock, but an opportunity to find the answer for himself. The last time I worked with him, we were running out of time but I wanted to help him be able to practice at home so he didn't lose everything he was learning. I was expecting to show him programs he could use online to help him practice and for him to just kind of go along with what I was saying, but then not really take the time at home to work on it. However, as I was showing him the website, he seemed interested and engaged and was talking to me about when he was planning to work on it and how he could fit it in between classes. It was exciting for me to see that now that he had the tools to help himself learn, he was looking forward to being able to use them.

I think from the beginning he had always come in with a positive attitude, but he didn't seem to have the confidence or whatever he needed to start to figure out answers for himself. Now, he seems more excited to keep learning and moving on to whatever comes next, knowing that he has the ability to be successful, regardless of how behind he is starting out.


 

Rayven is a senior at Spelman University, majoring in Psychology. During the Covid-19 Pandemic, as college students around the country do distance learning, Rayven decided to also serve as an AmeriCorps Member through the UD Community Corps Program. She serves 10-12 hours a week as a Library Instructional Aide with the Dayton Metro Libraries. She shares a story that reminds us - even during these difficult times we must support the dreams of each child, for they are our future.

Since the beginning of this new year, the remnants of the previous year still remain present and persistent. Every second, there is a remainder of the shadowing uncertainty of the pandemic and the impact that it has and will continue to have on the communities around the entire nation of America. With this in mind, my efforts to make this year a year of prosperity has been a goal of mine. A goal that I am meeting or making an attempt to meet every day. Even though the library I was designated to, Madden Hills, was not getting a lot of traffic. I was able to switch my location to the Northwest library branch. This has been a fruitful transition. The first day I served, I was surprised to see the faces of students! It brought me joy and happiness. I was finally able to work alongside students who were seeking out assistance with their homework.

There was one student partiality that I worked with last week who wanted to work on division. I asked him, “What type of division he wanted to do?” He responded with a shrug which I also responded with. This resulted in us both laughing and me continuing to ask him “what did he know about division?” As I started to write a division problem in three different ways on the board. He pointed to the division problem with the division sign, which indicated that he was most aware of that expression as being division. I also indicated that the other expressions meant the same. This was understood by him and I proceeded to encourage him to complete the division problem. I watched him as he completed the problem to see his method of completing division problems. With excitement he stated, “5” as the answer for 36 divided by 6. I responded with “You’re super close!” and he started to state every number before 5. I finally stated that the correct answer was 6, while telling him that he missed a circle while he was placing them in the six separate squares (his method of dividing). As a way to combat the possibility of missing a circle again, I showed him the method of dividing with the “house” symbol. When I showed him that, we were flying through division problems! I think he got a little bored with the division so he started to tell me about his teacher.

The student stated that his teacher said that he has a big imagination. I responded with, “I bet you do!” He proceeded to say that his teacher wanted him to write a story for the school magazine, and he wanted to work on that. So, we started to work on the story. The story was about Vincent van Gogh, an artist that the student was fond of and it showed while we researched information and facts about Vincent van Gogh. The student decided to end his story with “Vincent van Gogh inspired me to paint and draw, and I hope in the future that I will be able to inspire you all.” That was such a heartwarming ending to his short story about one of his favorite artists.

Moments like these bring light into some of the dimmest rooms. I will always believe that the children are our future, we have to continue to pour into them and support their dreams. The student I was working with wants to write books and loves art. I was helping the future's most inspirational artist.


Events

In honor of AmeriCorps Week 2021 (March 7-13, 2021), we want to thank all our AmeriCorps members for their dedication to service in our community. Please see the short presentation linked below to learn about some of the service our UD Community Corps AmeriCorps members are doing in the Dayton area.

We are currently accepting applications for summer 2021 and the 2021-2022 academic year. Learn about those opportunities on our positions descriptions page.

AmeriCorps 2021 Presentation

In the News
Experiential Learning 07.01.20
Imani's experiences: engaging with community through AmeriCorps

I started AmeriCorps almost a year ago. I remember joining on a whim, I had no idea if I even liked kids enough to help them.

Read more
Experiential Learning 07.01.20
Skyler's experiences: keeping our schoolchildren engaged through AmeriCorps

Last year at around the beginning of the year I had gotten an email. In that email the main thing I pulled out was "living stipend.

Read more
CONTACT

Fitz Center for Leadership in Community


1401 S. Main Street
Dayton, Ohio 45409
937-229-5400
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