Herschel Kirkland, a junior at Mercer University, believes that volunteering is crucial to community success. However, he doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks it out every single week by volunteering with Read2Succeed.
“Volunteering is good for the moral compass of the community,” Herschel said. “It allows me to do more for others than for myself. It helped me realize that no matter how bad things may seem, someone else may be going through something worse. It’s truly humbling.”
Be part of the difference! Volunteer with Read United.
During the 2016/2017 school year, Herschel volunteered for several hours a week with Read2Succeed at Bruce Elementary, Alex II Elementary, and Campus Clubs.
At his tutoring sessions at Bruce Elementary, Herschel helps seven students on their quest to become better readers. Herschel warms up the students with flash cards, helps them with spelling, reads with them, and teaches them new words. At Alex II Elementary and Campus Clubs, he spends his time with over 20 students – helping them with homework and aiding the teacher any way he can.
Most importantly, the results of his tutoring sessions go beyond academia – proving that volunteering has a positive impact socially, mentally, and emotionally.
“The teachers and my Read2Succeed coordinator, Dr. LaPrincess Vinson, often tell me that the kids are improving in the classroom because of the tutoring sessions,” Herschel said. “Initially, because they’re not good at reading, they are upset or have a bad attitude. But, as their reading ability has improved, so have their attitudes!”
Herschel gives credit to Dr. Vinson for making the volunteering process so stress-free. Dr. Vinson provides Herschel with individual folders specifying what each child needs to focus on during the tutoring session that week. She also gives Herschel exciting and fun ideas to tutor the kids (such as vocabulary bingo)! This helps the sessions remain exciting and interesting for both the students and Herschel.