Like many that choose to do the au pair program, Marijana, an au pair from Macedonia, had a great interest in childhood education and development. To expand her knowledge and experience she decided to become a weekly volunteer at her host children's elementary school in Louisville, Co. Through these efforts she has made a huge impact in the school and in her local host community.
Marijana helps in her host kid's first grade classroom with spelling and reading. She says,
I love that each Thursday the children will wait for me to arrive and ask if they can read their stories to me.
Marijana also shares her home country's culture and traditions with the children while helping them complete their projects.
They are so sweet and loving. They say things like, '˜Mari, I love you,' while giving me several hugs that are sincerely from the heart.'
In addition to helping out in the classroom, Marijana, also had the opportunity to chaperone field trips for her host kids in third and fifth grade. She chaperoned trips to the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, the local recycling center, and the Colorado History Museum. She also helped to organize the school's Jog-a-Thon and Field Day. Participating in these activities have been a great way for her to learn about the American school system while exploring her new community of Colorado.
Marijana's host mom, Alison, truly appreciates her involvement at her children's school. She said,
It's been great to have Marijana (or as they call her at school, "Miss Mari") in the boys' school. As working parents who don't often have the opportunity to get into the classroom, it's great to have her involved with the school and to have extra support in the classroom. The teachers and parents all know her now, and we're always getting positive feedback about her contribution to the school community.
Marijana's work has had a great impact that will last for a long time at the school and in her local community.