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Tutors serve as role models for younger peers

By MARGO HORNER

The Mirror

When Charlayne Fale and Layla Guyo, both sixth-graders at Saghalie Middle School, had lunch with the governor in Olympia last week, they were most impressed by the napkins in the ladies room.

The girls used the governor's restroom twice that afternoon just to get another peak at the fancy, gold monogrammed napkins.

The goat-cheese covered grapes weren't such a hit.

"It was gross," Fale said.

Fale and Guyo were the youngest of 38 volunteers recognized at the annual Volunteer Service Awards hosted by the Washington Commission for National and Community Service.

The girls were nominated for the award because of their service at Westway Community Center in Federal Way. After being members of the after-school program there in previous years, the pair signed up as volunteers.

So far this year, the girls have each logged more than 100 volunteer hours tutoring younger children in reading, writing, math, art and science. They help prepare snacks, sharpen pencils, clean up and provide an extra hand for Federal Way AmeriCorps members who run the program.

Fale and Guyo serve as excellent role models for their younger peers, said Danielle Bonner, Federal Way AmeriCorps supervisor.

"Sometimes the kids listen to the sixth-graders before they listen to us," Bonner said. "They just relate closer to the kids their age."

And volunteering keeps the girls out of trouble.

"It just gives them something to do other than running the streets and getting into stuff they're not supposed to," Bonner said.

Guyo said her favorite part of volunteering is reading to the children. Fale said she enjoys helping the kindergartners with ABCs and math.

Bonner pointed out that the volunteer hours the girls earn will look great on job applications when the girls become old enough to get their first jobs.

Community service also helps in the college application process.

Contact Margo Horner: mhorner@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

The Federal Way AmeriCorps are seeking volunteers of all ages to help in local community centers and schools. For more information, call Elise Bales at (253) 945-2271.

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