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The language of volunteering

Fredrika Banks, 30, is blind, but she has dedicated her life to helping others through volunteering.

Volunteers who teach English might have trouble reaching out to students because of the language barrier, but not Banks.

Banks is spending the week with the Global Volunteers language camp teaching second-graders and helping them to hone their reading and writing skills.

"This is the very beginning for these second-graders, but I want them to develop these skills so it's not foreign to them the next time they come across it. I know this will help them, and they will remember this week even when they grow up."

Banks graduated from Regis University in Colorado with a degree in education. She has volunteered with various programs in the United States and also has been to Thailand with her volunteer work. Global Volunteers is her latest project.


"I wanted to work with the Global Volunteers because I have a passion for teaching and am passionate about issues with education," she said. "Someday I hope to teach in a regular classroom or be a counselor, but after my experiences so far, teaching is what I'm more apt to pursue."

Pursuing her ambition is an adventure to her.

"No matter what I decide to do, there will be obstacles. It's just a matter of establishing myself in a classroom and proving, to the children and adults, that I can do this, and they can work with me," said Banks.

The rest of this week, the Global Volunteers children, who are in grades one to five, will continue to hone their language skills.

Activities include researching Asian and African countries for presentations and learning the song "My Country 'tis of Thee" for the younger kids.

"They are all working very hard," said Banks.

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