Each week, BYU-Idaho education majors volunteer at local schools to participate in Kid Connection .
“It is a volunteer program where we go to Lincoln Elementary just down the street and just volunteer with a classroom for an hour and get a feel for the classroom, help the teacher and interact with the kids,” said Leslie Wiley, a sophomore studying elementary education.
Wiley said volunteers help the teachers with grading and tutoring, both one-on-one and in groups
“I go Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 9:30-10:30,” Wiley said. “I think every day is a cool experience to be with the kids. If they take a test, we get to help the teacher grade it. Or they will have recess, and we will be able to go out with them.”
Alex Campbell, a freshman studying English education, said he wants to teach high school English or history someday and he loves having the opportunity to gain experience teaching now.
“I think it would be cool to help kids out,” Campbell said.
Wiley said volunteers typically work with the same classroom, teacher and students throughout the semester.
“We are fortunate enough that we get to go to the same classroom every time to create some normalcy for the kids,” Wiley said. “So, it is fun because they start to recognize us and will say, ‘Hey.’”
Campbell said he generally works with the same third grade classes but with different kids at each class time.
“I like when you are helping a kid and teaching him, and he finally gets it, and you are just like, ‘Yes.’” Campbell said.
Giselle Lammi, a sophomore studying special education, said she normally works in the special education classroom.
“I’ve been watching what they are doing and getting a preview for what I’ll be able to do,” Lammi said.
Lammi said she would like to be a special education teacher someday.
“Since I want to be in special education, watching that is really cool — just to see how the teachers interact with the students and seeing the activities that they do and how they implement it,” Lammi said.
Lammi said she loves being able to gain experience in the field she wants to go into.
“Being able to see the teacher has been amazing — how she does everything, and then being able to sit down with her one-on-one, and being able to ask her advice,” Lammi said.
Wiley said there is a difference between learning your major and being able to apply real-world experience to build your resumé before you graduate.
“I love kids and love to work with them, so it is fun to be in that environment,” Wiley said.
Campbell said Kid Connection will provide some good opportunities in the future when he starts looking for jobs.
“I think it is a good way to network because teachers see who you are, and if you are ever applying for a job, you can put their name down,” Campbell said.
Lammi said she is glad she has participated in Kid Connection for the experience it has given her.
“I think it is a lot of fun,” Lammi said. “Honestly, I think it is worth losing sleep. It is fun to go and work with them and get away from the college life and to see the kids.”