This week we share a guest post by Holy Cross member and Reading Buddies volunteer, John Pruser. John is wrapping up his first year serving as a Reading Buddy for a Kindergarten student at our partner school, Tom C. Gooch Elementary. John spends one half hour per week reading one on one with his scholar over his lunch hour. Our Reading Buddies volunteers make a huge impact when they invest in our school partners and in our community. We are grateful for John and all of our buddies and their commitment. To find out more about the Reading Buddies program and how you can get involved for the 2018-2019 school year please visit our website.

While exploring ways to engage in the work of Holy Cross, in addition to serving the community in which we reside, I came across a post from Angie looking for recruits for the reading buddy program at Gooch Elementary School during the 2017-2018 school year. Never before had it occurred to me to consider this type of service work. Given the somewhat stressful nature of my career, I was looking for a way to serve that would not only help others, but provide a short escape from my daily routine. The flexibility offered by the program helped me to fit this into my afternoon schedule on Thursdays of each week.

I was assigned a boy in kindergarten at Gooch, let’s call him Wolfgang for the purpose of this post, as my reading buddy. When we sat down to read for the first time I asked Wolfgang if he could read, to which he responded “yes”! We had a book about frogs and I asked him to start the story and read aloud to me. Wolfgang started telling a wonderfully colorful story about frogs which had nothing to do with the words written on the pages. Realizing that he had not yet mastered the written word, I gladly took over. On a couple of occasions when Wolfgang was absent from class, his teacher provided me with other buddies for the half hour of reading. They too, were great fun!
The experience of this program has been truly rewarding to me as a Christian called to serve. My trust in The Lord includes hope that I, as well as other reading and math buddies, make a difference in the lives of these young students. It is true that children are our collective future here on earth. It is also true how the joy and sparkle seen in their eyes motivates many of us to gladly give of our time and talents in service to Our Lord. Thank you for reading this post.
In His Service,
John R Pruser