As I start a new year and approach the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, it’s a good time to reflect on my work with Repair the World Atlanta. Our mission is to make meaningful volunteer service a defining part of American Jewish life. As a Repair Fellow, I connect the Jewish community to volunteer opportunities. An example of my own meaningful volunteer service comes from tutoring with Mind Bubble, which offers free tutoring and workshops for students across the Atlanta area.
At Mind Bubble, students in grades 5-10 work with volunteers to complete their academic work. Once they finish, students and volunteers play board games together. I have been tutoring since high school, but I had never seen a model like this.
Working on adding fractions with a new student, I could tell they didn’t enjoy math. They struggled to stay focused and engaged in their work, especially after a long day at school. But once we finished, we played “Spyfall.” The game requires players to think on their feet in a social setting, exercising a different part of their brain than traditional school activities. After playing a few rounds and sharing some laughs, it was suddenly time to leave. Not a single member of the group wanted to end the game and go home! An hour earlier, the student I was working with would have sprinted to the door. This epitomizes the impact of a group like Mind Bubble as well as the importance of spending part of my Repair Fellowship with community partners. By using a unique model, students begin to shift the way they approach learning to a positive, fun experience.
Mind Bubble is always looking for new tutors, if you’d like to get involved, contact me at Ben.Alpert@weRepair.org to learn about opportunities. In addition, check out our Martin Luther King Day volunteer opportunities with more than 20 partners from the Jewish community and beyond. Sign up early while space is still available!