A Conversation With…David Siewert
This installment focuses on a long time RSVP Reading Buddy David Siewert.
David has been an RSVP Reading Buddy since 2011 and currently splits his volunteer time between four Springfield elementary schools: Disney, Holland, McBride and McGregor. He serves as a Reading Buddy for six students.
“I wish someone would have sat down with me when I was a child. I never appreciated books until I was older and in the Navy,” David said.
As an RSVP Reading Buddy, David and other volunteers see a lot when they visit their students.
“There is a large socioeconomic gap between schools. When I’m at a school with a higher poverty rate, there is a large turnover in kids and many are in odd living situations,” he said.
David shared one particularly memorable moment:
I peeked into a second grade classroom and saw a student turning slowly in a circle, his nose in a book. I chuckled a bit at the sight but stopped when I realized I may have hurt his feelings. I apologized for laughing and asked him what he was doing. He told me he figured out that this helped him to read and the other kids didn’t make fun of him for doing it. The next day, I was at another school working with a first grader. The student was struggling to read and it occurred to me to offer the “spin around and read” technique to him. He tried it. His eyes got really big and he said “Wow! I can do this!”
“We appreciate David’s willingness to volunteer at several schools. When a need comes up at a particular school, David is always one of the first to volunteer,” said Sarah Derr, Education Coordinator for RSVP Reading Buddies.
“It is obvious that he cares about the children and is willing to try new things and go the extra mile to help them,”