North Windham Elementary School Recess Program

By: Talene Balian

I have done some volunteering at one day events here and there as part of my desire to give back to the community. I am an intern at the Center for Community Engagement and heard about many of the opportunities and decided to volunteer at some of them. When choosing the volunteer program, I wanted to do one where I would be having a good time but also do something that I normally would not do.

Generally, I have not enjoyed being with little kids but missed recess, so why not give it a try? The North Windham Elementary School Recess Program is on Wednesdays and has two sessions; 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM and 12:30 PM to 2:20 PM. I did the 12:30 PM to 2:20 session.

The grades that I saw every week were 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade. Each grade has about a 15 to 20 minute recess. The first time I volunteered, I was nervous because I usually do not know how to interact or play with little kids the greatest and wondered what they thought of me.

After experiencing my first day volunteering at the North Windham Elementary School Recess Program, I realized that the children were really excited about having college students playing with them every week. the program’s student leader, Samone, every week would bring in a different activity to the school children and they would have a blast every time! Some of the activities that Samone brought in include relays, bubbles, chalk, and potato sack races.

The children enjoyed all the activities Samone provided and even if some of the children did not want to play the games, they enjoyed playing on the playground or the swings with some of the other volunteers. I usually participated in the activities Samone provided or was taking pictures of the children playing with the other volunteers.

I learned a lot about myself from the time I spent volunteering at the North Windham Elementary School Recess Program. The first thing I learned is patience. My patience for little kids definitely increased over the two months I volunteered. The second thing I learned about myself is that I got more mature. By being around the kids, I started to understand what it is like taking care of other people’s kids. The program helped me overcome my anxiety of interacting small kids.

I would definitely recommend students join this program! The program is only once a week for two hours and you get to feel like a kid again playing at recess! You can also get more experience in the real world by volunteering!! Come sign up at the Center for Community Engagement.