“I just have to show you this letter my student wrote me!” When I speak with volunteers about GBJCL, they often mention the illustrated cards their students have given them in gratitude. Their handmade treasures preserve not only the memory of a positive year together, but also point to all that has been accomplished. One volunteer, Beatrice Goldfader from Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly (JCHE), showed me her student’s writing notebook during my recent visit to the Everett Elementary School. In the notebook was a series of thank-you notes, written after each week’s session. It was easy to track the progression and observe the warmth of the relationship. You can view one of those letters to Beatrice below.
Mark Friedman, a fifth year volunteer from Temple Emanuel at the Beethoven-Ohrenberger school, shares. “At the end of last year I got these wonderful letters of thanks, and they put it all together in this book. Each kid wrote a really cute letter. After spending a year with them, it was nice to see they enjoyed it.” It is encouraging to hear directly from his students that their time together makes a difference in their lives and hearing it from the adults in their life is further affirmation. Last year, Mark worked with students in a second grade classroom giving excelling students the extra attention necessary to push them to tackle tougher concepts. At the end of the year, a parent wrote him directly thanking him for connecting with her child and for being a positive role model.
We thank the students and parents who express appreciation for our wonderful volunteers. You are the reason for GBJCL. Our tutors, whether you get handwritten expressions of appreciation from your students or other expressions of warm sentiments, we echo those and thank you. The relationships you form and the time you spend makes an important impact, one which lasts even longer than an illustrated card.