The children that come to the Shelter are usually one to two grade levels below their appropriate grade level This is due either to the fact that they have been trying to function in a chaotic and violent home situation and may have been victims themselves of physical and/or sexual abuse. Often the family has been uprooted several times in an effort to hide from the abuser. Sometimes these children have been in several schools in the past year. In a few cases, the problem is compounded by a language difficulty or a learning disability. Many of our children are Spanish speaking, although most are bilingual.
The responsibilities of the volunteer teacher or aide are:
- To plan lessons and teach a group.
- To plan and implement various activities for the whole group, such as sports, outdoor
activities, crafts, art. “plays”, “show and tell”, and possibly religion or Scripture classes.
Some of these activities are done with the other teachers working as a team.
- To work closely with the children’s therapists in helping each child with his/her particular
behaviors or problems.
- To work closely with the interdepartmental team (teachers, therapists, apartment living staff)
in coordinating services and brainstorming on the best way to serve each client.
- To supervise volunteer mentors for individual children in the group. We have mentors from
Loyola High School and University of Southern California.
- To attend in-service train I no sessions, interdepartmental meetings and teachers meetings.
- To have parent-teacher conferences to help facilitate parental involvement in the school’s
expectations. Most of the mothers have not been “allowed” by their abusive partner to be
involved in their children’s school so they don’t know how to go to a teacher with a problem
or be approached by a teacher. This Is part of the training that we do to help the mother
become the sole head of her household and to take that responsibility.
Special talents that would be additional assets are:
- Spanish speaking
- Any musical talent
- Any experience with learning disabilities such as ADD, ADHD, etc.
In the afternoons, after school, there are opportunities for further tutoring with certain children, taking them to the library down the street, reading to them, participation in some of the therapy groups with the children or teaching religion or Scripture classes.