How do you figure out the number of missing teeth a Tyrannosaurus Rex has? Well, if you’re former volunteer Tom Kealey, you start with drawing the toothless beast, then find the answer using addition and division. Kealey, a creative writing professor at Stanford University wrote about his experience with 826 Valencia. The short story, which was featured on The Rumpus, gives an intimate look at what our after-school programs do on a day-to-day basis. After tackling the dentally unfortunate dinosaur, Kealey writes that when working with students, “You cheer them on. You offer a little guidance. Mostly, you’re there, and that goes a long way. Even if you’re not particularly good with this age group (like, say, me), if you’re patient and a little stubborn, you can make a difference, even in a small way.”
If you’re inspired to volunteer with after-school tutoring, read more about the program here.