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Update on the Armenian Community School Volunteers

By Crissi Jelladian

In the Fall 1996 and Spring 1997 semesters, the Armenian Students Organization was invited to assist the staff at the Armenian Community School of Fresno. This school is responsible for educating children grades K-6, and will soon be expanding to the 7th grade.

Seth Atamian, principal of the Armenian Community School, had a need for college students to work with the children in a variety of areas: counseling, academics, sports, and computer skills. Mr. Atamian stated, “Crissi Jelladian acted as the liaison between the Armenian Community School and Armenian Students Organization (ASO) to begin the program and was the first volunteer.” He further stated, “We are proud to have ASO working with us. A new dimension of college students working with our elementary students has been added to this school. Our students look forward to their visits. The program has been outstanding and we look forward to it’s continuance next year.”

The program was so successful and fulfilling for both ages of students that five new collegians became active in the program: Mano Momjian, Tina Attashian, Candrea Balekian, Vahan Balekian, and Seema Patel.

Students of the Armenian Community School were interviewed by Crissi Jelladian. Comments were as follows: “I learned how to carry on better conversations and liked talking to someone closer to my age,” stated Armen Khasigian. “It was nice to have someone to talk with,” described Nick Antazo. “It allowed me to express my feelings to someone closer to my age,” shared Dale Thompson. Lastly, Kach Savis exclaimed, “it helped me out with my math.”

In the beginning, visiting the Armenian School was a project, however, one semester later all participants involved in this program feel that it is an honor and a heart warming experience. “I feel that ASO and the contributing students benefit greatly from this program along with the children and it is my sincere wish to see the continuance of this program,” said Crissi Jelladian. “To see the students progression and smiling faces creates a feeling words cannot express.”