AmeriCorps in Action

Building a foundation for learning

It’s not every day that you can get ice cream on the job. For Early Learning Corps Tutor Sandy, her students give her “ice cream” at recess all the time! “The kids figured out that I like ice cream, so they’re always putting together concoctions pretending that it’s ice cream,” she says. “I get ice cream all the time when I’m on the playground.” 

As a tutor, Sandy is part of a pre-school classroom where she focuses on boosting reading and math skills. There, she enjoys getting to know her students and building relationships. With a lifelong love of early childhood education and years of experience as a teacher, Sandy knows that these relationships are important to learning. 

Learning takes place everywhere. According to Sandy, “The most amazing conversations happen in the lunchroom and on the playground, and I look for ways to encourage the kids to keep thinking, to keep learning.” 

On top of her background in education, Sandy also has a passion for theater. Service with Early Learning Corps has given her the opportunity to develop them both. She has even incorporated some theater skills into the classroom. “There’s a lot of teaching in theater,” she says. “You have to really mean what you say, be really confident and communicate clearly. Being more animated and being aware of our facial expressions and our voice really capture their attention in a positive way.” 

Working so closely with her students, Sandy gets to see them grow and improve their skills. She knows that these early years are building the foundation of her students’ education. “To see the kids come into the classroom, look up and see me, their faces light up, and they say, ‘Hi, Sandy!’ really loud. It shows that the work that I put into getting to know them and building a positive relationship is working. I’m just delighted to see their progress and to envision them someday flying a plane or working on a farm, not only to see them as preschoolers, but to know them as little people.” 

We are so proud of Early Learning Tutors like Sandy who help our youngest learners ignite a love of learning! Learn more about Early Learning Corps at Apply today to become a tutor at a school near you! 

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