For the past five years, middle school students from the Rhoades School in Encinitas have volunteered one Thursday a month with young students at Casa de Amistad, a non-profit organization that provides tutoring and mentoring for underserved youth in North County. Although COVID-19 suspended their monthly “Club de Tecnologia” in March, Rhoades families jumped at the opportunity to support their Casa friends this week with a food drive organized by Community Serve Day 365 at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church. Over 100 bags of food and many gift cards were donated by Rhoades families to support Casa families affected by job losses.
“Volunteering at Casa de Amistad has been an incredible opportunity for Rhoades 7th and 8th graders to get involved in our community by leading and mentoring younger students,” said Julie Watts, teacher and service learning coordinator at The Rhoades School. “We miss our Casa friends and are excited to have the opportunity to donate food.”
Several Rhoades alumni have become weekly Casa tutors. Rhoades graduate Priyanka Soe, now a sophomore at Canyon Crest Academy, said, “Volunteering at Casa has allowed me to help out the community while building a strong relationship with the student I tutor. It is a great experience, not only for her, but for me as well.”
Rhoades alumni Caroline Zdanowski, now a senior at Canyon Crest Academy, said “I’ve been lucky enough to help kindergartners find their curiosity and love for learning at Casa. The best part of my week is watching the kids realize that a word or math problem that used to stump them isn’t hard anymore because they’ve learned it.”