When I was a kid, my favorite food was spaghetti; and while this pasta is delicious, for a 6-year-old kid it is a terrible food to call your favorite because you will, sooner or later, need to spell it. Every year, our teachers would have a “get to know you” type assignment and ask us various questions, and invariably, “What is your favorite food?” would be on the list.
While other kids wrote down words like cake and candy, I was left to struggle over a word that most kindergartners can barely pronounce, let alone spell. It took me years to master it, but eventually I became a master of spaghetti spelling.
Growing up, I underwent countless spelling tests, and I didn’t like any of them. To be honest, I still have some spelling issues now, but thank to the wonders of auto correct and the internet, I’m getting better every year.
I still have troublesome words that to this day I’m learning to conquer – like ”convenience.” I mean, what word really needs that many vowels?
Today, our Leaven kids are learning and taking spelling tests of their own. And while spelling tests are still hard, our Leaven kids know they don’t have to do it alone. Thanks to our staff and volunteers, they have a whole team behind them, helping them to practice and learn each word they must learn to spell for every test.
Many Leaven kids come to us feeling unsure of themselves, their confidence in tatters. But through daily support, they begin to take on new challenges, one step at a time. Over time, they grow in their confidence and skill until they can take on any challenge, even if it means spelling words like spaghetti.
It’s this support that makes The Leaven different. Our volunteers aren’t just in the room, they are a presence in the lives of our students, helping them to grow on their own, and feel the confidence they need to take on life’s toughest challenges.
So they next time you find yourself struggling over a difficult spelling word, I hope you’ll take a moment to remember our Leaven kids. And just maybe, you yourself will feel a little less frustrated by that day’s spelling challenge.