The Gift Tag

This morning, I met up with a few of my colleagues from last semester for a volunteer assignment at the Loyola Marymount University's Literacy Lab. The lab is open to all students, who are struggling with their reading and writing from grade levels K thru 12. My purpose was to assess the group of incoming students for the spring semester to help find a placement for their needs. Once I finished scoring, I took some time to evaluate and review their results to report to my professor. As I walked over with the tests and results in hand, I was saddened by my news. My professor asked, "How did it go?"

My eyes lowered as my voice echoed, "I wish I could give you positive feedback...but from the assessments, these students are at the 3rd and 4th grade level...and performing in the 1st grade level for vocabulary and comprehension."

Then, I placed one of the tests on her desk and expressed my concern, "This student in particular I took noticed because she kept asking questions and was inquiring about how much time was left. Also, she was continuously flipping through her booklet and looking outside to see who else was completed."

"Yes...this is the student I was particularly interested in knowing her results. Her aunt actually called me about a week ago inquiring about our lab. She mentioned to me that during Christmas while everyone was opening gifts, her niece teared up because she could not read the gift tags to identify who the gifts were from..."

My professor and I discussed some more about other topics before I took off, but throughout the afternoon, I could not help but think about the literacy program in our schools. This past Christmas, Greg presented a gift to me in an envelope. It was a donation to First Book, where a child will receive 50 books along with tutoring and mentoring for an entire year. I'm thankful to have a partner, who understands the song to my soul.