Daily Point of Light # 2860 Jan 20, 2005

Oleta Howe is the kind of volunteer every organization wants. She has been a Foster Grandparent Program volunteer for 19 years, working with the same teacher at the same school tutoring and mentoring children from 1st to 5th grade in a resource classroom. She works with children with special needs helping them learn to read and to comprehend what they are reading. She also helps the children with mathematics quizzing them on times tables, or holding flash cards. Learning spelling words is another area where Oleta is able to assist teacher and the students. She is a great help with children who would otherwise “fall through the cracks” and be unable to learn the basics of education. She seeks out games and plans to help reach the students in the class where ever they are in the education system.

Oleta has served an average of 20 hours each week throughout the year, a big 19,836 hours of service helping over 400 students. During the summer seasons she has served the children through school reading programs to help them retain and learn to be able to succeed in school. She receives a stipend, for her service to the youth at Broadway Elementary School, helping her to live an easier life as a low-income senior. Her presence in the classroom has made life long friends of the children and their parents. Oleta receives graduation announcements, wedding invitation and birth announcements from former students. Oleta says her greatest reward is knowing that “her students” have graduated from high school (most of the students Oleta works with have learning disabilities).

In addition to her services as a Foster Grandparent, Oleta is an active member of Beta Tau, a philanthropic sorority who raises funds for “Danny’s Kids” as well as support for the Senior Companion Program, Foster Grandparent Program and other youth programs in the valley, the Salvation Army and Catholic Out-Reach. Oleta has served several 3 year terms on the Foster Grandparent Program and Senior Companion Advisory Council. She is active in the social scene at the apartment complex where she lives helping with receptions, dinners, and programs sponsored by Volunteers of America who won the apartment building.

She also serves at her church, helping with funeral dinners and with refreshments for youth programs. Often baking cookies for the youth group and for bake sales for fundraising the youth at her church holding.

Oleta How has one of seven recipients of the Colorado Cares Outstanding Volunteer award in 2004. She was able to travel to Denver to receive her award and be recognized as an outstanding Colorado Volunteer for 2004.

Mesa County School District #51 recognized Oleta as outstanding school volunteer in Mesa County in 2003 at a recognition luncheon for all school volunteers that included parent volunteers, local business and organizations as well as Foster Grandparent Volunteers. Oleta has volunteered in the Foster Grandparent Office folding letters, stuffing envelopes and serving at socials as the need arose. Her unfaltering service to the many people of Mesa County is outstanding.