GEORGE FEEMAN, Ph.D.
George Feeman is not just an outstanding volunteer; rather he is an exceptional person all around. George could easily have bowed out of volunteering after losing his right hand in a garden accident but instead, he has overcome the many challenges that come with a new handicap later in life, and he continues to share his time and gifts with the community. Overall, George has worked for more than 30 years with teachers and children in k-12 public schools. As a former mathematics professor and as a retired curriculum designer, year after year, he has offered teachers, students and others a wealth of knowledge and, his friendship and guidance. George Feeman is a community champion.
George volunteers his time at the Harrington and Longfellow Elementary schools Monday through Thursday during the school year. George attends the math classes with his students to get a feel for the lesson and then works one on one with students in need of additional assistance. He has been able to closely monitor student’s abilities and challenges through his focus on the classroom requirements and on the individual student’s capacity for learning. George helps out with 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes and he assists students in preparing for the MEAP tests. Furthermore, George has created informal testing to evaluate student progress and aims to improve scores by 10-50% over the course of each school year.
Depending on circumstances, George adjusts his activities to meet specific needs. For example, a little boy who was new to America needed an attentive adult to guide him in his academics, his language skills, and culturally through the terrain of his new home. George committed scores of hours to helping him develop.
The teachers describe his contributions as invaluable. George has been lauded as a precious resource to new teachers who deeply appreciate his assistance. Many times, George arrives early on site to help teachers with in-services and curriculum development before connecting with the students. School social worker Theresa Frakes is positively giddy each time she speaks about George.
In addition to tutoring, every Tuesday afternoon George volunteers, alongside his wife Ruby, at Crossroads (an agency assisting individuals recently released from incarceration) in Detroit. George says, “we just help people with troubles find their way.” This seems an understatement when the social services unit at Crossroads, where George contributes his time, helps individuals identify their problems and find solutions through personal and employment counseling.
George Feeman seems super-human, tutoring and mentoring children, and providing direction to troubled adults in his community. Yet, somehow George also finds time to just watch his grandchildren play in sports and maintain his gardens at home. Volunteering is something that George simply loves. Whether tutoring mathematics, guiding a vulnerable student, or assisting to improve the lives of adults with difficulties, George always sees the sun behind the clouds and undoubtedly, his services bring others in our community into the light! He is an inspiration, a Community Champion!