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TuesdayJanuary 2013

Jodi Faye Bullock and Maggie Gibbons!

Jodi Faye Bullock and Maggie Gibbons!

If you live in the Southeast Michigan area, we hope you’ve been by our center in downtown Ann Arbor. In that case you’ve probably seen our volunteers working diligently behind the red curtain as field trip helpers in the morning, tutors in the afternoon, or workshop leaders in the evening.

What you perhaps have NOT seen are the many volunteers who come to 826 HQ only rarely: the proud, the mighty, the corps of the In-school Residencies.

These folks are working literally every single day of the week in classrooms around the area. Over the course of a two-hour stay at a school, an In-school Residency volunteer might. . .Read a book with a second-grader in the hallway! Work with a small group on flashcards or word games! Pass back quizzes the teacher hasn’t had a chance to hand out yet! Or dozens more tasks of the sort that are — our teacher friends tell us — extremely helpful to the day-to-day function of the classroom.

In-school Residency volunteers tend to be extraordinarily reliable (which is extra-important and -valuable in a classroom setting). They tend to have an excellent rapport with young people. They tend to be truly caring, involved members of the community. And, alas, their praises tend to be under-sung because the nature of their service is ongoing and little-seen.

WE ARE CHANGING THAT LAST PART. TODAY.

Although all of our In-school Residency volunteers are worthy of recognition, two ladies of the current corps have distinguished themselves: Jodi Faye Bullock (pictured with dachshund) and Maggie Gibbons (pictured with Ypsilanti Middle School student Ibrahim). Both Jodi and Maggie volunteer at Adams Elementary in Ypsilanti, where each has consistently proven herself to be indispensable, patient, wonderful, and more than willing to go above and beyond the call of duty in a variety of ways. Our spy on the ground at Adams, who goes by the code name “On-Site Coordinator Asma Peracha” (and who is also totally awesome in all of the abovementioned regards, just so’s you know), consistently tells us that Jodi and Maggie have impressed her — by, for example, maintaining grace under pressure during a chaotic day at school, as Jodi did recently, or volunteering to help in the library to check out books to students, as Maggie has been doing all fall.

Maggie and Jodi, your work in the schools means SO much to us and we are SO glad to have you around. You are, truly, the wind beneath 826michigan’s wings.

(Psst: are you, reader, interested in following Maggie and Jodi into the annals of In-school greatness? We’re currently recruiting ISR volunteers for the winter semester. E-mail Frances Martin, Volunteer Coordinator and Program Manager, at frances@826michigan.org to learn more!)

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