First Niagara Foundation Intern Blog Post: Lessly

Lessly head shotName: Lessly Portillo

Home Town: East Haven, CT

College and Major: Mount Holyoke College, Class of 2019, Psychology

NHR Locations: Bristol St and Dixwell

NHR Clubs: Math 1A, Puzzles and Strategies

Favorite Childhood Book: Junie B. Jones and the stupid Smelly bus by Barbara Park

Working at New Haven Reads has been such an amazing experience. It was has helped me expand my communication skills and learn more about myself. Before I started working at New Haven Reads I was really nervous about being in a new environment but all the staff has been so welcoming that they made my transition so smooth that I felt  at home. When I leave my house I look forward to working with great people and fantastic children.

Meeting a different child every day brings so much joy because it is another student that I get to help. The best part about tutoring the kids is being able to see their facial expressions when they finally understand how to read a word or learn how to do subtractions. I tutor one young lady every Wednesday, and the first day of tutoring she came in crying because she was scared.  Her sister even stayed with her for tutoring for a couple of sessions. One day her mom came in and she told her it was fine if she left because she was not scared anymore since I had gained her trust. Throughout the session she began to laugh and talk a lot more compared to the first day of tutoring. I remember one afternoon she saw me walking to the Dixwell site and she waved at me because she remembered me.

I also run the Math 1A and Puzzles and Strategies club and it has been a great experience learning how to make lesson plans. Being able to take control of the club and choose the activities they should do was a bit challenging at first. I had so many questions since it was my first time being in charge. Many of the children in my math club struggle with subtraction, but I have tried the strategy of teaching them how to group in order to help their comprehension.

I would like to thank the First Niagara Foundation and KeyBank  for giving me the chance to be able to be a part of the New Haven Reads community. I have only been here for a short period of time but it feels like I have been here my whole life. I cannot wait to be able to come back and visit the amazing people that make this organization happen.

Thank you to the First Niagara Foundation in partnership with KeyBank for generously funding six college-age interns at New Haven Reads this summer.

Categories First Niagara Summer Internship, News & Events | Tags: , , , | Posted on August 6, 2017

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