Volunteer in Jail

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Want to work with kids? Here’s what you need:

  1. A controlled setting with professionals around, like at a detention center, school or library
  2. A skill you want to share
  3. A love of working with young people
  4. An ability to roll with the punches
  5. Patience

Yoga is great because it involves exercise, coordination, balance. It teaches self discipline and self awareness. In truth though, almost anything that requires practice can help kids learn the same kinds of skills. One woman volunteers as a sewing teacher. Musicians visit from time to time to play or offer lessons.

Volunteering with kids, especially troubled kids, isn’t for everyone, but for the right person, it can be, as the boy says, awesome.

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5 Comments

  1. Great post. love that all this is being done for the kids, to help them.

  2. Julia, this is a wonderful piece. I take it there is a professional in the room with you. Didn’t this take courage?

    Tess

  3. Thanks Paulette and Tess. Paulette — It is encouraging to see how far we’ve come in figuring out what kids in trouble need — way more than punishment.

    Tess — yes, there is a professional in the room, although there wasn’t for the first 3 years I volunteered, which was a pain, because we had to leave the door open and the lights on. It was pretty distracting. Now a staffer always joins us.

  4. Dear Julie,

    Thank you for writing and sharing this beautiful piece. To imagine the boys doing yoga starts my day off right!

    You are a gentle, implacable catalyst for light.

    Love,
    Ann

  5. How kind of you Ann! Best wishes —

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