Monday, March 19, 2012

Kids Who Danced With Ann

Volunteering and the StarShine Etiquette/Fashion Class

Over the past 7 years of volunteering at StarShine, I have worn many hats. I think my favorite was when I led the high school girls in an Etiquette/Fashion Class. Most years, these classes were held after school for an hour. I knew I always needed to have help, so I enlisted two good friends, one at a time, to teach the class with me. I also knew that while we could easily handle the etiquette part, I would need to bring in speakers on fashion.  And -- that’s what we did and it worked.

My first partner was ‘Punky’, a great and good friend. The girls loved her and appreciated what she brought to the class. Unfortunately, after two years she had to quit volunteering due to her husband’s illness. We had such fun, putting on skits, taking the girls to the Ritz Carlton for lunch, and getting to know these wonderful teen-age girls, their hopes and their dreams.

My second partner was Ann – a well-known artist and delightful woman. Ann brought another dimension to the class, and as with Punky, the girls grew to love and appreciate her and her talent.  I was just getting to know Ann, when she said she would like to help me with the class. At the end of 2 years, we had become good friends.  

Ann was close to the same age as I, but in much better physical shape. One day I asked her about her exercise program, and she said, “Among other things, I dance.” We both agreed that we should add 12 minutes of exercise to the class, and I voted for dance. So -- Ann brought in her CD player and a great song to dance to, but way out of the past for these girls. They giggled when they heard the song, but were good sports. I wish you could have seen us dancing around the library table, laughing hysterically – two older Anglo women and eight Latino teen-agers.

After about two weeks of dancing to ‘our music’, the girls decided to bring in some of their own. It was the wildest dance music I had ever known. Nevertheless, in turn, we were good sports, and did the best we could. We all almost fell down laughing.

What fun we had with that Etiquette/Fashion Class. Ann turned out to be a terrific addition.

Many thanks to Punky and Ann for the hours they gave to StarShine. My library helper, Helen, helped us out with some field trips – so thanks also to Helen.

By Lois Jamieson

If you enjoyed this inspirational and uplifting story about the joys of volunteering, you’ll want to read:

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