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Dedicated Teachers Make a Difference

Since October, six volunteers from the Northeastern University Civic Engagement Program have been volunteering their time each week with The Food Project as part of the Food Literacy Team. Every week, they visit the Dorchester and Gertrude E. Townsend Head Start centers to teach the children where their food comes from and how plants grow, encouraging them to be excited about eating vegetables and fruits. What follows is the first of a series of blogs to be written by members of the Food Literacy Team, by Caitlyn Fischman. She reflects on her experience volunteering at the Gertrude E. Townsend Head Start:

It has been a really long time since I have felt passionate about a cause. I feel it is important to educate kids about safe and healthy food choices when they are young, so I chose to volunteer with The Food Project.

During my time at the Gertrude E. Townsend Head Start center, what’s really struck me are the teachers. Today, one of the classrooms that I teach in had a "full classroom," meaning that all 18 of the three- to five-year-olds were present, supervised by only two teachers. The teachers’ patience and skill in organizing the children and making sure they were learning and having fun amazed me. 

I realize that recognizing the commitment that teachers give to their students is nothing new, but it really struck me how well the teachers work with their kids. I know that I would never have the patience or drive to devote myself to taking care of preschoolers, so my heart goes out the teachers who provide such a great environment for these children to learn. 

At the start of class today, a little girl told her teacher that when she grows up she wants to be a teacher just like her so that she can take care of her friends like her teacher does. At the end of the day, the devotion of that teacher is what makes me believe kids really are the future, because they have great teachers to prepare them.

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