I recently finished my first full year volunteering at the Memorial Elementary School in Brooks, ME. Once a week I read to the third and fourth grade classes. I also continued a writing project with the fourth graders. With the students help, I’ve been writing a sci-fi novella with dogs as the heroes and featuring Brooks as a location. I began it last year with the third graders, continued it this year with them in the fourth grade. We’ll conclude the project and the book next fall as they enter the fifth grade. The kids are a joy to work with. 

As I tell all the teachers at Brooks, the children give me far more than I give them. Typical of their goodbye comments: “I had fun writing the book with you”; “Thanks for writing with us. Have a nice summer and beware of the aliens”; and “Have a great summer! Both you and your dog.”

We will … and thanks to all the children for making my year. If you want to make a difference, especially in your own life, I strongly recommend volunteering wherever and whenever you can.