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ASO’s Volunteer Work at the Fresno Armenian Community School

By Crissi Jelladian

In the city of Fresno there is so much to be done and many people that can use extra help in various activities. With this knowledge the Armenian Students Organization has taken time out to assist our friends at the Fresno Armenian Community School. This school educates children of Armenian descent grades K-6. The one problem that the school faces is the continuous struggle to provide co-curricular activities with a limited number of faculty. How can you help? GET INVOLVED!!! This school needs your help.

The principal of the Fresno Armenian Community School, Seth Atamian, makes it convenient for students to assist. He doesn’t expect anyone to maintain a set schedule, only that they continue to assist the children and faculty. There is a variety of areas you could assist in: Reading, athletics, poetry, odyssey of the mind, or simply just being a good listener will benefit these young students.

Helping out at the school has been a new experience for several A.S.O. members. Some members like myself were concerned that they didn’t speak the Armenian language, but I was informed that most of the students there fluently speak English.

I feel that working at the Armenian school has allowed me to develop a greater awareness of what the youth of today goes through. I don’t consider speaking to the students a job any longer, instead I see an opportunity for the students to discuss anything and everything and to hopefully help them through their particular situation. Volunteering time at the Armenian School has provided me with heart warming experiences that I will never forget.

Another student, Vahan Balekian comments, “Working with the boy’s basketball team ages 8-12 has taught me plenty of patience. It teaches them discipline and helps to keep Armenian children together as a community and in a safe environment.” All things in life depend upon nurturing in order to continue growth, and it is exactly that, nurturing, that our youth cannot live without.