A smile. A raised hand. A laugh. A question. A thank you. This is what school volunteers experience every day in the Bridgeport Public Schools. They may see a child become intrigued, learn something new or set an admirable goal. Each volunteer makes a difference in the child’s life.
Recently, third grade student Tiyon Hargrove completed an assignment about his greatest gift by writing, “My greatest gift is having a mentor. We color and play board games. We draw and read chapter books. Mr. Ron is a very special person.”
The teacher then shared the assignment with the mentor, Ron Villani of Monroe. “I had no idea I was having such an impact,” Villani said.
This is the purpose of the School Volunteer Association of Bridgeport (SVA), and the reason why so many individuals, businesses and organizations become involved with the organization.
In January, the Fairfield County Community Foundation donated $5,000 to SVA for general operating support.
Since its incorporation in 1967, thousands of SVA volunteers have read books to classes, and tutored and mentored individual students. SVA gives thousands of books each year to build classroom and home libraries.
Children thrive under the personal attention they receive from adults who care enough to help them with their studies and talk with them about their lives. Although adults volunteer with the intent of helping the children, they often find it hard to believe that their gift of time means so much to the children.