‘I feel very valued’ says Maureen
As a long time advocate and supporter of children and learning, Maureen Oesch came to her volunteer role with the Learning Disabilities Association of Wellington County (LDA) out of necessity. With a son experiencing a learning disability, Maureen began attending LDA events and became aware of the vast and helpful programming. As a result, she very quickly became immersed in the organization and as a volunteer.
With a background in the mental health field, involvement with school boards, school council, parent involvement committee (PIC) and a past educator with the University of Guelph as a sessional professor, tutoring is a natural fit.
“Maureen is a returning tutor for our Reading Rocks program which helps struggling readers (with or without identified learning disabilities)” says Monica Chamberlain, Executive Director LDA “having returning volunteers builds stability for our programs; and helps us know our tutors well which makes for the best matches with our students. One-on-One tutoring and small group instruction and practice are essential to help students overcome their challenges and build confidence.”
“Reading Rocks is an amazing program” shares Maureen, “a little bit of support that goes so far, you can see improvements in reading; it’s a highlight to see a participant getting it and enjoying it – it is a great feeling.”Maureen continues “in my volunteer experience, I feel very valued; I enjoy volunteering with people who are working to make a difference. No other place, no other way to have that feeling; your unique experiences are valued and validated.”
“Maureen, as a counselling professional” says Monica, “is a resource to our families that struggle with the mental health complications that can accompany learning disabilities and school struggles. Maureen is generously donating her time to run two workshops on Resilience and Self-Regulation for parents and youth. Our programs depend on returning volunteers like Maureen to provide low-cost and essential no-cost services to youth struggling in school.”
With Maureen’s professional and lived experience as a mom of youth in Grades 6 and 8, one who benefits from the support of LDA Reading Rocks, Maureen’s volunteer experience is a shining example of a perfect match; a match that is a win – win – win for all involved; clients, organization and the volunteer.
A win win that continues to grow. “Maureen is helping us build our network of contacts and partners in Guelph and area, by spreading word of our programs and suggesting community members and organizations we can reach out to” says Monica, “this is essential to the growth and sustainability of our organization. We want to continue and expand information services, support, training and programming for all our clients (youth, parents, adults).
Reading Rocks is currently a free program due to the general funding of an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant. Learn more about the Learning Disabilities Association of Wellington County at ldawc.ca