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Proof Positive: Learning where to volunteer

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 18 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 21 2013 11:11:37 AM CDT

Proof positive: Learning where to volunteer

Have you ever thought of volunteering in your community, but didn't know where you could do the most good?

At the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley there is plenty to do.

"We work with 400 non-profits in the Lehigh Valley," said Prescilla Schueck, center CEO.

You can check out the opportunities online, on the phone or simply drop by for a chat.

"If they want to find something right away quickly, this week, this month, we have a listing on our data base," said Schueck.

The center can match your skills, schedule and interests with a community organization that needs your help.

"Today you're gonna be lucky enough to participate in our youth literacy program," said Christina Cardinal, Director of Youth Programs.

Since Jaccii had a free afternoon and loves a good book, she read to preschoolers at the Volunteer of America children center in Allentown.

Three days a week volunteers use a popular children's story to teach valuable reading skills.

On this day, the lesson comes from Disney's Finding Nemo.

Volunteers use games to help kids remember vocabulary words and how to use them in sentences.

The lesson also involves counting and rhymes to keep things fun.

The center tries to recruit six volunteers to work with six children each.

"It is really important that we get these kids reading by the time they are in third grade. From third grade on, you learn to read your other subjects. So if you are in fifth grade and you are trying to study science and you are still sounding out the words, you are going to start to fall behind, " Cardinal said.

"Once you fall behind, you start to think that you are stupid. You start to think you can't do this, that you're not good at school. You start to dislike it and that is when as a high school or a middle school student you start to ditch class and you get yourself in a lot of trouble." said Cardinal.

So if you are looking for a good book or a way to warm your heart by giving to others, take a lesson from the little clown fish Nemo.

Give the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley a try.

So everyone can have a happy ending.