Ashley Schrader, a sophomore studying Pre-Physical Therapy and Exercise Science at Wichita State University, discovered Rainbows after one of Rainbows’ Physical therapists spoke to her Pre-Physical Therapy organization. After hearing what Rainbows does and that there were volunteer positions available she immediately researched volunteer opportunities online and applied. She was eager to interact with children in a positive manner that would allow her to learn and make a difference in their lives.
A Wichita State student with a passion
Though she has only been a volunteer at Rainbows for 4 months Ashley has already made a great impact on the children of Rainbows. She has worked hard to build a friendship with each of the children in her classroom. One of her favorite Rainbows’ memories is of a child who graduated into the pre-k classroom this fall. One day as she was walking in she was not paying close attention and walked right past her assigned room. When she turned to back track she looked into the classroom to her left and saw one of the children who had been in her room all summer.
“He gave me a strange look, then he realized who I was” said Ashley, “even though he was not supposed to leave his seat, he jumped up and ran over to the door and asked if I was joining his class.” Once she informed him that she would not be able to join his room, he began rushing through his words telling her that he missed chasing her on the playground and “cooking” in the play kitchen. I was “very surprised at his recollection, considering how young he is,” said Ashley, but “it just shows how a small time contribution made an impact on a child.”
When Ashley arrives in her classroom she is almost immediately swept up by the girls and taken over to the doll house. “The girls absolutely love Ashley,” said lead teacher Cassie, “She doesn’t just play with them, she encourages them and really focuses on getting them to talk and use their words in a positive manner.”
While she is a full-time student, Rainbows is not the only place Ashley volunteers. She volunteers weekly at the Kansas Humane Society and helps out at Habitat for Humanity, Walk MS, firework tents, and her church when she can. When she does have some down time, Ashley can be found quilting, painting, playing with her cats, or hanging out with family and friends.
Thank you Ashley for giving your time to Rainbows!