Volunteering provides an opportunity to develop new skills and build an existing experience and knowledge. It is essentially giving your time freely to participate in activities, which benefit others. It’s a chance to make a real difference. According to a study conducted by Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine and Public Health on third graders, the children under the influence of volunteers tend to score significantly higher on a regular basis than children in a controlled group without any mentor.
I worked under the project ‘FUN WITH NUMBERS’ wherein you visit primary schools on a weekly basis to play fun maths board games with children aged 4-11 years old. It encourages pupils to have fun whilst learning and improve numeracy skills. It not only increases levels of confidence and skills in maths but also aids in releasing stress and getting creative.
I got the chance to visit HOWES PRIMARY SCHOOL for a ten-week programme on every Wednesday. I went through an induction training before my first day which enabled me to excel in my role and acquire vital transferable skills in problem solving and communication. On my first day, we were welcomed by the teaching staff who then took us to the kids recreation room. I was really keen to share my subject knowledge and expertise with these tiny tots. As soon as the kids began entering we all scattered in the room to interact and play games with them. I started with my all time favourite ‘SNAKES AND LADDERS’ and gathered a small group of kids and started the game. It was really fascinating as they were trying to put in a lot of effort and time to calculate something as simple as 6+6 ! It challenged my ability to motivate younger minds to want to learn. It was not just volunteer work for me but also about having a good time and enjoying myself.
An unforgettable incident from my experience at Howes was when my finals were coming up and my entire team and me got really busy with the upcoming submissions and deadlines and couldn’t make it to the school on a particular Wednesday afternoon! Eventually when we all went for our next session the following week we saw such excited and enthusiastic faces ready to play games, relax and have a nice fun time. Most of the kids complained about our absence the previous week as they all loved sharing their mathematical skills with us and indulge themselves into learning through games. The teaching staff collectively came up to me and told about how the kids missed all of us the previous week. This just added a cherry on the top. It was the most satisfying feeling ever! It made us even more committed and keen to support these pupils, spend quality time with them and teach them.
Fun with numbers allowed me to meet many like-minded people with similar interests. I found the overall experience very pleasing and fun. Volunteering at a school gave me the opportunity to be involved with something I usually wouldn’t have a chance to be with. It enabled me to come out of a bubble and try out something different to my everyday job. It facilitated me to gain experience that helped me with my course and also given me skills that will help me to succeed in my career choices.
If you want to volunteer with Fun With Numbers and you missed the Volunteering Fair, go to the webpage below, where you can sign up. Make sure you tick Fun with numbers as your preferred volunteering project.
If you want to volunteer with Fun with numbers and you are already an existing member of Warwick Volunteers, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
Alternatively, for any query feel free to contact the staff in the Warwick Volunteers Office, situated in the SUHQ, near Xananas, right above Rootes Grocery Store, the executive team or the project leaders!
Volunteers are needed for sessions in Coventry, Leamington and Kenilworth schools. The travel costs are reimbursed for this project. The time commitment is limited to one hour per week for 10 weeks throughout term 2 (Please allow travel time to and from your placement school).
A few requirements for this project include completion of safeguarding training, DBS Check and if you have lived outside of the UK for more than 6 months in the past 5 years you need to obtain a Certificate Of Good Conduct.
For more information you can join the facebook group through the following link:
Aashriya, Project leader Support Officer – Student Exec