My name is Fernanda, and I am a fourth year English, linguistics, and classical civilizations student at the University of Toronto. Last semester, I had the privilege of being a From 3 to 3 volunteer who was in charge of reading pre selected literature to groups of Kindergarten children once a week for three hours. Initially, I became interested in volunteering at the CCP because I wanted to gain teaching experience in an elementary school classroom to support my development towards becoming a special education teacher.
What I loved about the CCP was that they had many opportunities to choose from that would allow me to get involved in the community. They have programs for volunteering with a range of age groups, and are very flexible in terms of scheduling and commitment duration. Also, the staff are very friendly! They were always willing to help if you had any questions or needed support during the experience. I have always enjoyed volunteering, so it was great to know that there was a place at the university where I could engage in my community.
During my experience, I especially enjoyed the orientation day. I appreciated how we were so well prepared for the position, how we got to meet individuals who were beginning a similar experience, and how we were taught about intercultural learning. Because of my experience, I have a new interest in helping children who come to Canada as English second language learners. During the semester, I would arrive at the school and help the teachers with step up, as well as welcome the kids into the classroom. It was interesting to see how the teacher managed the kids, and what strategies she used to teach them. As she taught the class, I would take a small group of kids to part of the classroom to begin reading. The experience gave me a new appreciation for reading, especially since it was very rewarding to see the kids engaging in the stories. After I read the stories, my favorite part was interacting with the kids, asking their opinions about the stories, and listening to their ideas. I realized just how much I love being in the classroom.
Overall, the experience was one of my favorite parts of the term. I would highly recommend participating in From 3 to 3, or in any other of the CCP programs to gain some insights about the work that you would like to do in the future, to build positive relationships, and develop practical skills such as communication and team work.