News & Highlights

Waste Management Volunteer Reading Activity Impacts Children and Volunteers

Volunteers from Waste Management participated in their company’s first “Impact Day” by reading and singing with young children in Aldine on Friday, May 27, 2016. The nine members of Waste Management’s IT team spent their morning at three child care centers that are currently participating in Collaborative for Children’s College Bound from Birth quality improvement initiative.

“I can donate to a charity,” said volunteer Maria Rojas, “but it’s different for me to actually see the kids’ faces as we interact with them.” Karen Parmigiana even brought her own favorite books with her. She then donated the books to Alpha Academy #1 after sharing them with the children.

Waste Management reached out to Collaborative for Children when they decided that they wanted to play a direct role in improving the quality of early childhood education and care in Houston. According to Tonya Hicks, owner & director of Allstars Daycare, the volunteers were a hit with teachers and children. “It gives our teachers a break from their day to day schedule, and allows children a chance to learn from and listen to a new person,” said Ms. Hicks. She added, “Volunteers coming in and reading are an exciting way to break up the day, because everyone reads a story differently.”

Volunteers also benefited from the experience. “This is a break where we can re-energize,” said volunteer Achal Khosla. Hardy Baker said that he liked having an opportunity to spend time with kids and influence even in a small way, a child’s life. “I think back to career days and parents coming in and sharing with students,” said Mr. Baker. “Having someone other than the teacher speak to us was a great way to get us engaged and listening.”

Volunteers, such as the terrific Waste Management team, are a growing part of Collaborative for Children’s engagement with child care centers in local communities. Ms. Hicks said that there’s only a few things volunteers need to be successful: “You need to love children and understand that not every child is going to sit still! As long as you love children, you will be able to do what you need to do.”