A Local Light: The Little Light House School

By: Liam Ford

As we pass through the end-of-the-year holidays, we realize what the season is about.  And to honor our appreciation during the season, whether you are in need and receiving, or you are going out of your way to give and help others, it feels like a communal time of aid and gathering.  And as we edge closer to the end of the year, we are looking at opportunities to reach out and help others.

Founded by CEO Marcia Mitchell in 1972, the Little Light House School (LLH) is a perfect opportunity: it is a school for people with cognitive disabilities that exists to optimize the learning for individual students who learn in different ways and allot them all one-on-one time to receive the help they need, and also to give students personalized experiences with those who they enjoy spending their time most.

While prioritizing the education of children in a tuition-free school, the LLH also works to provide free therapy to their kids and their families. The school works to educate families on how they should treat and raise their kids, and since it’s opening, they have helped thousands of special needs kids further develop their sensory and speech skills.

“In The Classroom” Photo credit: Little Light House Gallery

Since the organization is non-profit, the LLH is in need of more volunteers to control the classroom environment and give students the best learning environment they can.

As far as volunteering goes, the process is quite simple: send an email to the LLH school, and an associate or volunteer will respond with a survey after reviewing your information.  Upon completion and acceptance, you will be assigned an area to volunteer in based on your interests and may volunteer on your own time and earn important skill sets along the way.

Long-term Little Light House telephone operator and volunteer informationist Meg Einer gives meaningful insight as to what skills and benefits are mutually developed and gained from volunteering.

“We like to believe that the relationship between our kids and our volunteers extends beyond an assistant, but that it is lifelong.  We have people who have been here for years.  They are always stationed with the same kids, and they think of each other almost as family.  You just have to come and spend time with us to fully understand the connection.”

Right now, the LLH mostly needs people who can aid kids in learning, being their friends and guidance figures at events, as well as setting up or taking down these events.

“We also really need people who will help organize and shred our paperwork,” Einer adds, “[and] it is crucial and just as helpful to the kids as working with them directly.”

Due to their high request for volunteers, even though there are more vital positions to be filled, the LLH is always accepting new volunteers for all positions.  The school aims to have twelve different kids per classroom, three teachers, and one volunteer for every two kids.  This ensures that the kids will get to know their guidance figures personally, and will feel more comfortable being with them frequently.

In a volunteer position, there will be gain for both you and the organization.  You will take away an experience that teaches vital skills in areas of communication and aid.

“Working with our kids can [introduce young people] to new communication skills, particularly those that require more innovative thinking and understanding,” states Einer, “and will help bring [younger people] together with an intent to help.”

So if you love working with kids, helping those in need and if you love a classroom environment, the LLH might be the place for you to assist.  On top of helping, you will learn valuable skills, make others happy and build meaningful bonds with the children.  The impact you have on the world will be lifelong, so let’s make it positive.

Click here to learn more about the Little Light House School. 

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