While I hold very dearly all of the opportunities to work with kids that I experience daily, there is one place that has always and will always stand out as the most impactful to me and most dear to my heart. This post is about a local non-profit called Centro Hispano de East Tennessee.
You should check out www.centrohispanotn.org to learn all about what this organization provides for the community. I started as a volunteer in 2013, and have been working in the children's programs they offer in their building ever since. The readers' digest version is that while adults take various courses, namely English classes, their kids get to hang out with us and learn things too!
There are two programs at Centro for kids. I oversee both programs, but I am the teacher for the Child Development group, ages 3 to 6. The other program, Educational Success, is for children ages 7 to 12. We offer these programs at no cost to the families that are studying at Centro in the evenings.
There are two main reasons that I hold Centro and the kids we serve so dear to my heart. The primary reason is that working with the children here never fails to remind me of the absolute opportunity that children offer the world. These are children from the widest variety of backgrounds and experiences, whose families come together and become a part of a community that is directly in support of an otherwise largely unsupported people.
The second reason is that these programs have been built from the ground up in the time I have been at Centro. Being so directly involved and responsible for the creation of a healthy and safe environment for kids here has definitely fostered a strong attachment within me. Not to mention, I have picked up quite a bit of Spanish by being here for so long!
I look forward to the many years to come of serving these amazing children at Centro Hispano. If you would like more information about Centro or how to be involved, check out the website at www.centrohispanotn.org.