Volunteer of the Week: King Horne makes a difference one child at a time

Published 8:00 am Sunday, September 3, 2023

Our volunteer of the week is King Horne, a film school student who now lives in Los Angeles. Horne, a Vicksburg native, has volunteered at Dana Road Elementary School since he was in seventh grade.

Dana Road Elementary was his first stop in education from preschool to third grade, and Horne said the school always held a special place in his heart. 

How did volunteering with Dana Road Elementary begin?

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My volunteering at Dana Road initially began as an easy way to get service hours for my school’s requirements. At River City Early College, all students were expected to receive a certain amount of service hours volunteering at any place in the local community each semester, and so I started to see where any were available. 

How long have you been volunteering with Dana Road?

What started as an easy gig for service hours quickly evolved into something more. I spent around a year and a half volunteering at Dana Road, but the more time I spent there, the more the kids recognized me and the more they looked up to me. Therefore, it was no longer about an obligation to myself but an obligation to the kids as well. 

What is your favorite memory while volunteering at Dana Road?

My favorite memory while volunteering for Dana Road is easily picking sides on Field Day and pushing the kids to win. Admittedly, picking sides is rather childish but in this case, I made an exception. 

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering at Dana Road? 

My piece of advice for anyone else would be to just be in the moment. Kids are definitely a lot to handle, especially in the classroom settings, it took me a while to get used to their varying personalities. Because they have a strong tendency to be so random and different from each other, you shouldn’t focus on what you and your friends experienced in your time of youth and act off of preconceived notions, but rather act as it relates to each child. 

What are some of your tasks while volunteering at Dana Road?

During my time volunteering I was either tasked with the supervision of the children or to help ease the burden of staff in any way possible, either major or minor. I spent a lot of time in a first-grade classroom because the assistant teacher was out most of the time. I assisted the teacher by tutoring students, mentoring students, grading papers and assisting in whatever capacity I was needed in. I assisted with car rider duty and also assisted with the Mister and Miss Dana Road competition, the crowning ceremony and mentorship of the Student Lighthouse Team. 

What have you learned from volunteering at Dana Road?

I’ve learned that the quote about children looking up to us “adults” is true. I have a very particular vernacular apart from others my age, so picture my shock when I heard my own mannerisms being used by the children who mimicked it. 

How can someone else volunteer at Dana Road?

If anyone is interested in volunteering at Dana Road, please contact the principal, LaShonda Keyes.

If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to volunteer@vicksburgpost.com.