Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Matthew Faraci, Sayville

At our school there are many programs for students to enroll in. One of these is the aftercare program, which a child can attend if a parent cannot pick them up at the time school ends. The kids who are there can range throughout all of the grades, which includes nursery to 14-year-olds.

To help out the younger grades and the after-school teachers, we volunteer every Monday afternoon. There are so many little things we can do that are useful, such as taking children to the bathroom or to the water fountain, cleaning up around the classroom and delivering students to their parents when they come to pick them up. This has been a great way to assist our school community and the teachers, and to form close bonds with many of the aftercare children.

We love working with all the kids, and it is so nice that when we come in, some of the kids like to give us a hug because they miss us. Sometimes we play games with them, other times we color or we just talk. We are there for about two hours, and we think it is about the best two hours of the day.

We like that we are more involved in our school and getting to know many of the younger students, too. The bonds that we are making with some of these kids are unforgettable.

Rosemary Meehan's eighth-grade class, Maria Regina School, Seaford

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