By: Jasmine Bailey
Volunteering at Nash Community's Child Development Center
For my random act of kindness, I decided on volunteering at the school's day care center. While working at the day care center, I came across some of the brightest and sweetest two year old's that I have ever met! They'll turn your frown into a smile within seconds.
What I did at the day care center
My main job was to watch the kids at all times. You could not just glance at the kids every now and then. They're two years old and they need your attention! Especially when playing outdoors. I helped the teachers keep track of where the children were, if they were playing fairly with the other kids, and making sure they didn't hurt themselves. You also have to engage in play time. Some kids won't to venture out on their own, and its up to you to keep that child happy and engaged with the others. Little kids love when you play with them!
It's time for lunch!
The kids at the day care eat healthy lunches. Better lunches that I had when I was in school. They always had vegetables, milk, a small portion of meat, and fruit. I helped the teacher distribute the food during lunch time. They never eat with forks, only spoons. Sometimes they would say that they didn't like some of the foods before we gave it to them. If a child were to say that, I would kindly ask them to try it because they might like it. Also at times they would spill their milk on themselves and I would help the teacher by cleaning up the area. Even though the kids are only two years old they are fairly smart. When they are done eating they immediately put their plates in the trash and go in the bathroom to wash their hands.
Time for a nap...Zzzz
After the kids eat it's time for a nap. This was probably one of the most difficult things to do as a volunteer (for most people). I actually enjoyed putting the kids to sleep. I could put three to four kids to sleep within a ten minute limit. The key to putting them to sleep is to pat their back or their stomach lightly and slowly. The rubbing technique doesn't really help much. There are also kids who are very cranky when it comes to nap time, because they don't want to go to sleep! I tried to put a child to sleep one day but he just wouldn't budge. I eventually just stopped patting his back and sat next to him lightly brushing his hair with my fingers and he drifted off into his two hour nap. But most of the time the kids will drop like flies when they have a full belly and burnt off their large amount of energy.
Needs for the Day Care Center
The day care needs more people to help out. The more volunteers the less the teachers have to stress. One teacher to a six to seven student ratio is quiet complicated. Imagine trying to watch and take care of six busy toddlers for a whole eight hours! It can be exhausting.
Day Care Services provided
The day care provides services for students and faculty members. They watch the children, give them proper naps, provide lunches, and have exciting activities for them. Other services that are included are basic skills. They kids are taught to wash their hands, eat all of their food, go to the bathroom by their selves, and to have proper manners.
Need and Solutions
The Day care is in need of more volunteers. I had only been volunteering there for a month and I only came across two other volunteers. The children also need more books to read at school.
- Put out flyers around the school
- Send out emails
- Have a fundraiser to raise money for new books
- Donate children's books to the day care center
What I learned..
I learned that you have to be patient with little kids. You can't get out of control and get upset with they don't know right from wrong sometimes. If a child is upset about something, they will cry for a good three to five minutes. All you have to do is be kind and patient with the child. Show them that you care about how they are feeling. I also learned that not every child is going to listen to you. But, you still have to be the older adult and take charge. You are never allowed to hit the children at the day care, what so ever! You simply put them in timeout for roughly four minutes and they'll likely be good as new. Children are some of the most precious things on earth. They need your guidance to stay pure and innocent.
How to become a volunteer at Nash Community College's child care center
All you have to do is contact Angela Nieves, who is the volunteer coordinator for the day care center. She will more than likely contact you back the same day that you contact her. You also have to be a student at Nash Community in order to volunteer.
Director, Child Development Center
522 N. Old Carriage Road
P.O. Box 7488
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Would I volunteer here again?
I would definitely volunteer here again. I enjoyed working with the faculty as well as the kids. It felt like a big family! The faculty never gave me any problems. I could volunteer at anytime between 7:30 a.m and 5:30 p.m. As long as their building was open I could volunteer. Even if my hours for this class are completed, I still plan on going back once or twice a week.