The Cycle of Service

While I was in Peace Corps, I worked with the local schools in Consuelo to find the kids most in need of literacy help.  When I was evaluating kids’ knowledge of the vowels, the alphabet, and basic two syllable words, I met Bladimir.  He was 14 in fifth grade and couldn’t identify any of the vowels.  The first book in the 36 book Scholastic Literacy set, AEIOU, took him several weeks to master.  Together, in about a year, we pushed through all the books in the series. Now that he is reading, they skipped him a few grades.  Today, he is in his junior year and looking forward to graduating soon.  It is impressive, but there is something more inspiring.

Bladmir, like many in Consuelo, is hoping to be signed into one of the many Dominican academies of  Major League Baseball teams.  He spends his morning at the baseball field and his nights in night school at the local high school.  And now, his afternoons are faithfully spent at the CCI community center.  Bladmir is so grateful for his ability to read and for the literacy help he received that he is anxious to give back.

I have had Bladimir tell his story to teachers and politicians at CCI community meetings.  He gets nervous, but his story is powerful.  He recently participated in a CCI literacy volunteers’ training and is now helping kids who are in the same difficult situation he overcame.  This is what CCI’s Service for Aid hopes to replicate thousands of times over.

Bladimir plans to participate in English classes at CCI in exchange for his time helping in the literacy groups.  We are also working on his reading and ability to take notes after the literacy groups.  We hope that Sara, Angelo, Dariel, and all the other participants in CCI’s Literacy Intervention continue the same cycle of service.

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