While a lot of 826 volunteers participate in many different programs, it seems that most have a favorite program, that is near and dear to their hearts. I think it is safe to say that Abby Ruehlmann, February 2015’s Volunteer of the Month, has found her favorite program at 826michigan in our In-school Residency program.
Over the past year and a half, Abby has distinguished herself as an effusively enthusiastic in-school volunteer, taking on as many regular classroom residency gigs as she can fit into her busy schedule. She has been a first- and second-grade support at Mitchell Elementary in Ann Arbor and Erickson Elementary in Ypsilanti. She has supported ELL high school students at Ypsilanti Community High School and summer school students at the Summer Learning Institute.
One place in particular that we have seen Abby shine is at Huron High School for our Young Authors Book Project. Abby worked side-by-side with high school students every Thursday and Friday this fall, supporting and encouraging them as they wrote the bedtime stories they wish they’d had when they were younger. Abby helped some students facing particularly difficult circumstances to find the words to express themselves, share their feelings, and become more confident with their writing and beyond.
When talking to Abby, it is not uncommon for her to become emotional (code for real-life tears in eyes) about how much she loves working with young people and how amazing they are. She is the picture of conviviality with other volunteers, making friends wherever she goes. As you can imagine, teachers LOVE Abby, and so do we. Abby Ruelhmann, we cannot thank you enough for bringing your incredible spirit, talent, and generosity into our lives. You are going to make an magnificent educator—we cannot wait to see you when you have your own classroom!