November & December theme:
“Choose One Thing”
Posted in :  Community Works

On Wednesday, April 25, Fathom volunteered with Junior Achievement of Southwest New England. We were nervous, excited and didn’t know what to expect. Our time with JA and the kids of Lincoln Elementary in New Britain, Conn. was, to say the least, amazing, inspiring, exhilarating and exhausting!

To learn more about our day, keep reading for some post-experience thoughts from a few Fathomites . . .

Michelle Bashaw and Jilla Dilmaghani took on a fun and active 1st grade class for their day with JA.

“I loved it!  It was so fun to hang out with the kids.  The kids were all so respectful and kind.  They seemed to genuinely enjoy the material we presented and were super involved in each of the lessons. The teacher was helpful and kind, helping us to keep the kids engaged and bring each of the lessons back to what they had been learning in class.  I really enjoyed the day and would love to do it again sometime!” — Jennifer Ford

“I loved how all of the kids seemed really interested in what we were telling them. I thought a few of the kids were going to knock their chairs over when they raised their hands so fast to participate. My favorite part of the day was watching the students draw what they wanted to be when they grow up. One student drew an entire, very detailed farm. another had a spaceship all planned out and assured us he would grow up to be an astronaut. All of the drawings meant so much to the kids and each wanted to share theirs and tell their story to the rest of the class. The funniest part of the day was when a student told us his dad was Justin Beiber. He was quite adamant about it. All in all though, had a blast!” — Kate Bradley

“I was blown away with the level of engagement of the students. Very eager to learn, helpful with each other, and excited to have us there. It was personally challenging to be aware and super deliberate with how I spoke, which words I chose and how I said them. It was also an amazing exercise in being able to “check in” with the students to see who was tracking and who needed another perspective. Finally, having no answers, only supplying the framework for the student to show up in was the best part. Truly enjoyable, wonderful and would do it again in a heartbeat.” — Brent Robertson

“Mrs. Aldi’s first grade class was very energetic and eager to learn. I was so impressed by how quickly they grasped the concepts of our lessons and wanted to share all about their families, their jobs and their dreams. My favorite was little Anthony who began our class wanting to be a mechanic and by the end decided to explore the even more exciting world of monster truck driving! It was such a joy to see our discussions inspire the kids’ imaginations and encourage them to believe in their future. We knew we made an impact when Angel ran to give us a hug and asked when we’d be back. Hopefully soon!” — Molly Dwyer

“The goal of our JA for a day company outing was to go and spend time with the students to teach them all about life; family, needs, wants, the importance of a job and many other things. Instead, I left the classroom with a better understanding of what life is all about. The students were enthusiastic to learn and participate in every conversation.  Having never attempted to lead a class of 19 1st graders, I was nervous – to say the least. I quickly became comfortable with the students because they were so engaged and curious to hear what we had to say next.  The rest seemed to come naturally. It was an invaluable experience working with Junior Achievement in support of their mission to empower young people to own their economic success.  I’m thrilled to know that, through JA, people have this opportunity to help shape brighter futures for students and their families.” — Derek Donofrio

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Posted by: Suzi Craig
Email the author: suzi@fathom.net