Thanks to Mary Lynne Schroeder, the YWCA has a large—and growing—team of volunteers from Pioneer United Methodist Church, our neighbors down the block on Birch Street.
She calls the volunteers her “readers and talkers.” The readers visit twice a week. The morning readers alternate, and Virginia Harrison is here every week with her collection of huggable puppets and a stack of books.
Vic Walker, a reader, signed on because he believes it is important for the church to reach out to the community. He also enjoys reading out loud. Judging by the laughter of the preschoolers, he’s pretty good at it, too! “It’s fun interacting with the kids,” Vic says.
Chuck Templeton, who visited last week to read with his wife, Pat, agrees. “The kids are delightful!” He adds, “It has also been easy to work this into our schedule.”
Reading volunteers receive background checks, and their teachers stay on hand to help manage the children.
The talkers group will start in November. Each week, church members will attend volunteer and community college teacher Ursula Volwiler’s English as a Second Language class. Shirley Isaacs, who has volunteered with Prospect Point first-graders for 15 years, looks forward to working with adults who want to improve their language skills.
All talkers and readers have been briefed on the need for confidentiality and are committed to the safety of residents.