Friday, January 8, 2010

The Breakfast Club for Mentors in Fort Lauderdale

The Breakfast Club: An Invitation to Adults from a Teacher

On my way to work, I drive to an elementary school, arriving at about 7:15 am. I pick up a book of photos or I bring along a few sheets of paper and a pen. I sign in, walk to the dining hall, and wave to Mr. Mobley, the security guard. Two teachers are "on duty" and sometimes I see parents in the room, watching the kids who arrive early for free breakfast. I leave at 8 a.m. and go to work.

"What do you talk about with the children?" is the first question that most adults ask me. I've found that brining a book along is an icebreaker. Most kids are curious and one way to feed that curiosity is to open a book to an interesting page with a photo. That's what I talk about: something that interests the kid.

"Why are you doing that? You don't have kids" or "Your child isn't at that school." Well, I'm a taxpayer and I want to see my education dollars go farther. There's a connection between boredom and failing in the classroom. If a kid has something to look forward to everyday, then there's just another reason to get to school on time "to see what Mr. Mac is doing this morning."

INVITATION: I invite you to arrange your schedule to include an hour devloted to our school system. Yes, I've had to sacrifice by going to bed an hour earlier. It takes me 12 minutes to get to the school and then 8 minutes to get to work, a total of 15 minutes in addition to the usual 5 minutes that it takes me to commute. I stay there 45 minutes so it's about five hours a week devoted to asking kids, "Have you seen the Earth from space?" (when I bring a photo book to the hall) or "Can you find Florida on this map?" when I bring an atlas. I miss seeing The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at 11 pm, but it's worth it to get up at 6:30 a.m. ready to make neurons spark in young brains.

I tell myself that I'm meeting with future clients. They are the taxpayers of tomorrow (and they pay sales taxes today). I'm interested in building an army of smart, motivated kids who know that there are adults who want them to succeed.

If you live near I-95 and Sunrise Blvd., please join me at Sunland Elementary. You can ask for the volunteer form by internet through or you can call the volunteer office at (754) 322-8567. You, too, can be the change that we want to see in the world.

Steve McCrea is an SAT tutor and a teacher trainer. He offers a CD with 201 electronic books on it: write to him at His weekly seminar about marketing tips on the internet take place at 1350 East Sunrise Blvd. (Artserve) -- bring a blank CD and exchange it for the 201 ebooks CD. For more information 954 646 8246.

By the way, go to and see the latest in the series of free movies available in 2010 in Fort Lauderdale.

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