by Muriel Williams, Experience Corps Member, William Pinderhughes Elementary School
My name is Muriel Williams, an Experience Corps school volunteer since February 2007.
After retiring from the Baltimore Times, I knew I had to do something…I couldn’t sit home any longer. My work as a editor/reporter, however, never prepared me for what I’d signed on to do: volunteer at an inner-city elementary school.
The first year, I worked in the computer lab and had limited access to the children. This year? WOW!! I am assigned to a third-grade class — the largest (30+) in the entire school.
There are three other adults in the classroom besides the teacher and we all have our work cut out for us…but not in ways you might think. The children work hard to learn, despite their problems. Additionally, they truly appreciate my presence.
Another Experience Corps member at Medfield Heights Elementary School. Photo by Matthew Ciseselski.
As a journalist, I lunched with celebrities; met presidents; traveled the country; even witnessed history in the making, but none of these experiences compare to my volunteering at Wm. Pinderhughes Elementary School. The children are unbelievable…even the ones who give you trouble, but they more than make up for it when they proudly show off a good grade, or are recognized for extra effort, or give you an unexpected hug.
I look foward to getting up in the morning, knowing I’m going to be part of these children’s lives — if only for a few hours a week.