I Volunteer Because…

by Brad Gilbertson, FYCC Volunteer

I volunteer as a Teacher’s Aide at GLIDE’s Family, Youth and Childcare’s After School Program because I believe that education is one of the most important building blocks and gifts we can give to our children to help them be healthy, happy and productive for their own personal benefit, as well as for the benefit of the future of our society and country.

I volunteer at GLIDE FYCC because:

  • I believe in the values they bestow of getting along and acceptance of each other
  • GLIDE helps kids in building their confidence and self esteem
  • FYCC gives kids a place to learn & get extra help with school work
  • Provides a place to feel safe
  • Offers kids extra needed attention and love
  • Provides an additional environment to add to their personal growth and socialization
  • GLIDE FYCC provides a “consistent” environment; critical to a Childs sense of safety and well being
  • Provides working parents peace of mind to know their children are safe and happy while they finish their work day to support their families
  • I want to support the efforts of AMAZING and DEDICATED teachers at GLIDE FYCC. It is humbling to see how hard they work, how talented they are at their jobs, and how much they truly care. It is way more than a job for them.

I have been a volunteer with GLIDE FYCC for 5 years. It has been a  truly rewarding experience watching children grow and prosper. I have learned patience, and to not ever give up on them. There are times when it seemed like I was up against a block wall trying to teach arithmetic, but through patience and by not giving up, but trying to explaining in as many different points of view as possible, there would be a breakthrough and the kid would say, “oh…., now I get it!”,  and of course we would go to “high five city”, and I now see them as Secretary of the Treasury… anything is possible!

I work primarily with kids in the first and second grade. There are kids that were struggling in one grade and then they blossomed in the next. Not having kids myself, this was a big revelation to me, and I think it holds for adults as well. I have become a far more hopeful and patient man because of this experience.

Kids need to feel safe. Kids need consistency. If you volunteer, be prepared to be consistent. Stick with it. It is like “exercise”… one trip to the gym, or even a week, will not make much of a difference. It takes a few months to “get in the groove” and really start noticing and feeling the results. But when you do… it’s so worth it!

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