Giving What I Can: Volunteering as a High School Student

by Jessica Rodriguez, Warren Township High School, Class of 2016

Jessica running the ring toss game at the Fun Fair
I recently had the chance to volunteer at Grayslake Cooperative Nursery School for their Fall Family Fun Fair. I received an email from my Scholar Coach telling me about the event, where the preschoolers could come and have a good time and the school would benefit by raising money. I was so excited to work with kids around that age because I’ve babysat kids one to three years old before and I’ve always had fun.

When I got there, I was immediately assigned a game to run and prizes to give away. I ran the ring toss game right in front of the building and handed out temporary tattoos to all the little kids who played. They would come up to me and ask to play, and then I would give them a ring to get into the stands. A fellow Scholar ran the bowling game next to me and it was adorable to see the kids play her game too! We shared the tattoos we gave away as prizes and even ended up putting the tattoos on ourselves to look more welcoming.

There were also many other games like bean bag tic-tac-toe, bag toss, knock out (where there were stacked cans and you had to knock them over with a bean bag) and my favorite: the life-sized Candyland. Some Scholars sold hotdogs and popcorn, and some ran the table with all the delicious treats. There was also a woman that made balloons into animals, cartoons, hats, and more. It was so much fun even though the weather decided to go from hot to cold to windy and back again.

Every single kid there was so polite and always said thank you. They made me laugh and smile nonstop! It made me feel good that I got to be there with them to help raise money for the school, and I know the kids had a great time too. At the end of the fair, all the kids went home happy and we helped clean up the games. The woman that ran the event was grateful to us for volunteering, and as a thank you she let me and the other Scholars take home a treat!

Volunteering at the Fun Fair felt really good because I was giving back to my community. When you’re a high school student it can sometimes seem like you don’t have a lot of resources that you can give to your community, but I learned that this is not the case. I’m a busy student, so I may not be able to help out my community all the time, but I can give a few hours on a Saturday. During the time I spent at the Fun Fair, I saw how I was able to make the kids laugh and have a good time which really made me feel like I was helping out the school. Now, I want to keep volunteering and keep helping out in any way I can.


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