October 11, 2014
Exciting times in the life of a Reading Partners site coordinator
I have always loved the idiom “a person cannot step into the same river twice.” Credited to the Greek philosopher Hericlitus, the sentiment captures the perpetual change and motion of all things. In the metaphor, as you step into the rushing flow, the river you set out to walk in is already in the past. Time and circumstances move forward, unceasing and tirelessly, with a rapid speed.
As I begin my second year with Reading Partners, stepping into an new role and facing new challenges, I keep coming back to that imagery of ongoing change and rapid motion.
Last year, I joined Reading Partners not knowing what the year would hold. Each challenge was new for me. As an AmeriCorps site coordinator, I set up a reading center at Hyde Leadership Charter School where knew I would be spending each day working to meet the needs of my students and volunteers. This year I have stepped into a new role as a regional site coordinator supporting a five-school portfolio spread across the Harlem, Lower East Side, and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods. I am now traveling each day to different spaces, comparing and contrasting strategies, and aiming to implement systems of support for a much larger group of students.
Even as a second year member, I can tell it is going to be another year of firsts…
#1 Getting to know the new team
While Reading Partners New York has the good fortune of having seven returning senior AmeriCorps members, there are still many new faces. My fellow members and I have the particular pleasure of quickly getting to know and trust each other before we begin the new year.
#2 New Schools
We have also expanded into several new schools in New York this year and will be setting up new reading centers and recruiting new volunteers to serve even more students this year.
#3 New Partnerships
Forging new relationships with administrators, teachers, and communities is a major factor in serving new schools and new neighborhoods.
This period of dynamic growth and collaboration simultaneously terrifies and exhilarates me.
Some things—important things—have remained the same.
Our curriculum continues to reinforce Reading Partners’ commitment to ongoing high-quality tutor support and receptivity to feedback. Though my time with Reading Partners has been relatively short, I am already seeing the benefits of growth within our returning communities, schools, and community partners. Working with students and educators who are familiar with Reading Partners generates a stronger and more efficient energy, which will help us generate a more powerful impact over the course of the academic term. This continuity helps us reach our goal of meeting students’ needs.
I have come back to Reading Partners to continue and build on the work that I began last year. As our team starts this new school year with enthusiasm and high expectations, we are wisely looking at where we have been before to learn from our past experiences. At the same time, we head into uncharted waters where we will meet new challenges head-on.
As a returning AmeriCorps member, I will allow the ever-changing, ever-rushing river of the school year to wash over me while I forge ahead knowing that student achievement and literacy gains wait on the opposite shore.