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Mary Beth

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Infant Welfare Society of Evanston, Inc.
April 24, 2011

I have been a classroom volunteer at the IWSE in the Baby-Toddler Nursery for almost a year. I LOVE volunteering here. It is just plain FUN working with these wonderful children. The teachers are very caring. Every day they come up with special activities for the children that exercise their brains and their bodies. The Program Manager visits the classroom often and clearly loves the children. The classroom itself is full of wonderful toys for the children to play with creatively by themselves or interacting with the teachers-- not just more buttons to push. When the weather is good, the children play outside in a protected courtyard with lots of toddler vehicles or the teachers take them on walks to places like the nearby Pet Smart. What fun the toddlers had watching all the animals!

A wonderful bonus for the children is that my classroom has 3 teachers to 7 chlldren. Often when I am volunteering (adding a fourth adult in the classroom!), a language specialist or college students studying early childhood development visit. There are always plenty of caring adults to interact with the children!

I also enjoy seeing parents when they drop off their children. It's especially nice that often fathers and grandfathers are the ones to do so!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

One little girl became so involved in activities that she finally gave up her blanket and her tantrums. The mother of a constantly fussy, overweight baby boy sought out better medical care on the advice of the IWSE and now he is a cheerful, active toddler who drops weight every week. Another toddler girl has stopped grabbing toys from other children and occasionally hitting them because of the consistent response from her teachers to "Walk Away" or "Be gentle!"

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I hope for a new building. The IWSE is outgrowing the quirky building they are in and, in spite of its hominess, are deserving of a more efficiently arranged building with larger classrooms and kid-friendly sinks. I also wish there were more volunteers in the classrooms.

More feedback

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

A brief orientation and building tour before beginning. clear expectations of what is expected of a volunteer in the classroom.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I have a chance to use all of my interpersonal skills when I work with the children and the work challenges my creativity and endurance. Volunteering here is a great physical workout! Most importantly, I feel that I am helping the children to a better future by playing with them in a way that challenges them and helps neurons in their brains to grow and develop.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Happy, happy happy! The two hours I volunteer are the most joyous time of my week. I feel that the teachers and managers appreciate my service and they show it!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I try to play with the children in a way that encourages the growth of their brains, bodies and social interactions.