Personal Story

Impact Feature Issue on Paraeducators Supporting Students with Disabilities and At-Risk

Giving and Receiving: Kira’s Story

This past year, Kira Fisher was an AmeriCorps participant with Action for Children Today AmeriCorps in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She provided programmatic support and time release for teachers in a childcare center. Of this experience she has the following to say:

 My service included teaching literacy, team-building exercises, and pre-kindergarten skills. I served in an inclusive classroom in which one-third of the children had disabilities. I made a big difference with the children. One of the student’s mothers came to me and said that I was a wonderful role model for her daughter who had cerebral palsy....I was able to help [two children with cerebral palsy] with daily living skills, and this helped me grow as a person. I was able to teach them and show them what they needed to learn and what they could achieve....[Through this experience] I gained insight into what I want to pursue in graduate school. I will use my educational award to pursue a masters in Early Intervention Education, working to include children in all kinds of classrooms regardless of where they come from or what level they are at.

Excerpted with permission fromService & Inclusion: A Multimedia Resource for Inclusive Community Service, a Web site developed by Emily E. Miller through her fellowship with the Corporation for National Service . The Web site includes transcripts of interviews she conducted with 32 national service participants who have disabilities.