The Learning Lab is a nonprofit organization that provides individualized educational programs in Adult Basic Skills, English as a Second Language, and Preschoolers & Parents as Partners Family Literacy to assist students in improving their ability to use printed, numerical and written information so they may function successfully on the job, in the family, and in the community. Bob Field has been a volunteer at Learning Lab, Inc. since February of 2000, and he spends 16 hours a week as a volunteer tutor in the adult classrooms.
Students use interactive computer curricula to develop the necessary skills to become employable and fully independent. Field monitors students as they work on the computer and does small group and one-on-one tutoring to assist students with reading improvement, English as a Second Language instruction, GED study skills, and computer literacy skill building. Field’s unique style and quiet perseverance endears him to all of the students and staff alike. Field is truly the epitome of the “Guide at the Side, not the Sage on the Stage.” During a typical class, Field will be helping one student study for citizenship, assisting a group of students to work on critical thinking problem solving, or he will be listening to a student read an English newspaper.
One of Field’s greatest strengths is his ability to point the student in the direction of the answer, rather than telling a student the answer. Field’s dedication to the students does not end when he leaves the classroom; he is always thinking of ways to reach students and improve their ability to learn. Field recently spent time at home doing computer research how to say “good morning” in Farsi, thus endearing himself to that student for a lifetime.
On his one year anniversary, the students themselves said it clearly in a letter they all signed for him: “it is nice learning with you,” “I wish know or meet more people like you in this country,” “Muchas gracias por coloboracion,” “Thank you so much for your helping and your patience,” and “With your help I can talk to people longer.” Field also volunteers another 60 hours a year by assisting the Lab’s administrative staff by providing technical support and expertise with the computer database and systems, assisting with annual solicitation drives, and helping with a myriad of other clerical and administrative tasks. His background in computers and engineering has given the staff access to expertise that enhances the services at the Learning Lab. His consistency and friendly demeanor have been a valuable addition to the Learning Lab service delivery system.
His volunteer work for the community is not limited to The Learning Lab. Field also serves as the Volunteer Alarm Officer for the City of Meridian Police Department, Volunteer Engineer Assistant for the City of Meridian, and a volunteer during tax season. Mr. Field has also been trained and certified as a Child Protective Baby Seat inspector and offers those services free to parents with infant children.