“Child Care Assistance provides services to Dallas County parents enabling families working toward self-sufficiency to access child care. Parents who are employed, in job training, or in an educational program may be eligible to receive funding.” -- ChildCareGroup
There I sat, staring at lit computer screen and researching my audience for an after-hours presentation. I was asked by a representative of ChildCareGroup to facilitate a short presentation about Reading Partners and early literacy intervention techniques for parents. With only a background in public relations and journalism to guide me, I felt a little shaky about the task at hand. My pitch for volunteers has been honed to near perfection. I could recite the mission of Reading Partners and the drop of a hat and immediately identify avenues for engagement for any given audience. This presentation, however, was exceedingly different than ones past. With my head in my hands, I contemplated whether this was an appropriate setting to ask for a time commitment of 1 hour a week to work with children not ones own.
As I arrived at the ChildCareGroup center, I greeted the parents as they approached -- babies on hips and little ones toddling behind. Mothers and fathers wanting the most for their children and seeking help from the limited resources provided to them. I decided not to mention our desperate need for volunteers and how they could give to the mission of Reading Partners. I was allotted 15 minutes and so I devoted my limited time to sharing best practices and encouraging them to read to their children every night at bedtime. I thanked them for their time and indicated I was finished sharing, but before I could, someone raised their hand to ask a final question. “How can I help and become a volunteer with Reading Partners?” a mother asked while bouncing her little one on her lap. With an eagerness I have yet to encounter, my small audience reminded me that I had not yet shared how they could give to the mission of Reading Partners. I was struck by the moment and touched by their willingness to give all they could to a cause dear to us all.