Monday, October 22, 2012

Capturing the Hearts of the Community: Calvin College Volunteers

Calvin College has played an extremely important role in the Grandville Avenue neighborhood since the inception of the Cook Library Center in 1996.  Freshman students who live in the dorms are required to volunteer their time throughout the school year and are sent to a number of participating non-profit organizations within the city of Grand Rapids.  Fortunately for us, we have a partnership with Calvin that requires freshman students from Boer-Bennink dorm to complete their volunteer hours at the Cook Library Center.  This year, approximately 20 Calvin volunteers are at the library every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to spend time with our area students.  A typical day at the library for them may include helping students with homework, playing educational and interactive games, or reading books with them.  We couldn't love our Calvin volunteers more if we wanted to!

It's easy to see that our area students are just as enamored with Calvin's volunteers as we are.  At any given moment when Calvin volunteers are at the library, smiles radiate from students' faces as they contemplate their next chess move, select their favorite book from the shelves, or simply sit beside a volunteer and chat.  And oh, do Calvin volunteers adore our students!  When asked what Calvin students enjoy about the Cook Library Center, their collective response was that they feel loved; that our students remember them by name and greet them excitedly when they come through the doors each week.  How wonderful is that?    

For many of our students, Calvin volunteers are people that can be trusted to share feelings, hopes, fears and dreams with.  They are role models who can be counted on to give encouragement and positive attention.  We are extremely fortunate to have such individuals from Calvin investing in our students.  Our students love them, we love them, and we look forward to working with them as they continue to shape this community with their compassionate hearts and dedication!  
Maynor goofin' around with a  Calvin volunteer
Calvin volunteers Julie and Rudi  hangin' out with two of our students!
From left to right: Esai, Julie, Troy and Rudi
Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities administers the programs of the Cook Arts Center and Cook Library Center.