Laura Martinez’ students came to class filled with excitement and ready to learn as soon as they walked through the door of their 1st grade classroom at College View Elementary.
Her class welcomed Mr. Rick Gutierrez on this sunny, Thursday in April. Gutierrez a CenturyLink employee, and like so many times before, came today to volunteer.
“Today we are going to learn about families, familias,” he said.
Gutierrez began his introduction to the class by showing them a poster with photos of his family and the many animals — including alpacas —he owns. The children then introduce themselves and shared two of their favorite things. Answers ranged from Emma who “le gusta jugar” (likes to play), to Matthew who likes Wii. The children never failed at being engaged.
“These little kids want to tell you every story,” Gutierrez said. This is his fourth year volunteering in this setting, his second year with Martinez. “It sets a good example for my kids,” he said about his own children.
CenturyLink, the telecommunication giant, and Junior Achievement came together to partner for “JA in a Day,” an opportunity for professionals such as Gutierrez to come in and share their wisdom with students from Denver schools.
“I think its good because it shows we have committed members of the community that come in,” Martinez said. She said this is a beneficial experience not only for her students, but also for the mentors.
Gutierrez brought activity booklets for the students, which allowed them to demonstrate how they have volunteered. It may be the simplest of things like taking out the trash, but it nevertheless illustrates their selfless efforts.
The booklet asks: “What makes it a good place to live?” The answer: “We all do.”