John Shea is a portfolio manager at Fifth Third Bank and a member of United Way's Emerging Leaders.
I recently took part in a United Way Emerging Leaders book club event at Mt. Washington School and got the opportunity to see firsthand the impact United Way is making in the community. The event paired Emerging Leaders with two to three kindergartners. Each group read the book, “Planting a Rainbow,” which teaches kids the process of planting a flower and all the different types and colors of flowers. After reading, each kid and Emerging Leader planted their own Marigold flower in a cup to watch them grow.
I was excited for the event and it couldn’t have turned out better. The two kids I was paired with, Autumn and Lorenzo, really enjoyed the experience. They picked out which flowers were their favorites, read along with me learning new words, and planted their own little garden that they could then watch grow.
However, I think what most surprised me was the impact the event had on me. For that afternoon, my efforts led to a tangible impact in bringing them joy and helping them learn. I think that inspiring the curiosity to learn new things is very important in helping the kids of our community grow, and it was rewarding to be part of an experience that did just that.
What this place needs ... more volunteer readers, tutors and mentors