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ECDC seeking student volunteers

Casey Kenny | Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Early Childhood Development Center (ECDC) at Notre Dame, on Bulla Road behind the library and directly across from Fisher O’Hara-Grace Graduate Student Housing, is looking for student volunteers for the Spring semester, according to Terri Kosik, the executive director of ECDC.

Kosik said the center offers a “dynamic, recreational-based program for children from age 2 to kindergarten and utilizes a developmentally appropriate curriculum.”

The 80-90 student volunteers with the program work alongside teachers and assist the children with various activities, she said.

“Students volunteer 2 hours per week and spend time with the children in various capacities [from] working on the curriculum with teachers, reading stories to children, teaching them to ride bicycles, painting with them [and] pushing them in swings,” she said.

Students work the same schedule each week and, therefore, really get to know the children they are working with, Kosik said.

“There is a wide range of children in the program from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and socio-economic groups,” she said. “The volunteers can choose the age group with whom they feel most comfortable.”

Kosik said that while volunteering at ECDC looks great on a resume, it also a fun way to perform community service and is a great experience for those students planning to teach or majoring in fields such as psychology or pre-medical.

Students who volunteer often find the experience so rewarding that they often return the following semester, Kosik said.

Notre Dame sophomore Bobby Powers participated in the program in the fall semester.

“It was a lot of fun and a great way to get away from the stress of college life and just be like a kid for a couple of hours,” he said.

Tim Wallace, a sophomore volunteer, agreed.

“[It was] really fun and the kids were always laughing,” he said. “I got to know the kids really well, as well as lots of other volunteers.”

Students interested in volunteering can visit the ECDC Web site at http://www.nd.edu/~esdcnd/. Summer job and part-time paid positions are also available to students.