There’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting lost in a good book and this is a feeling that Michele Duell of Fairfax, Virginia knows very well.
“To get lost in a book, where the only stimulus is the words on the page and your imagination… that’s very special and makes reading a book an individual experience for each person,” Michele said.
And now she’s taking her love for books and spreading it to elementary schools around central Springfield.
“Central Springfield is an area with a lot of schools where the students qualify for free and reduced price lunch,” Michele said. “That means that the teachers don’t often have a lot of extra resources through extra parent donations.”
The teachers often pay out of their own pocket to buy books and supplies for their classroom.
To solve this problem, Michele created Educator’s Night, a program that provides free books to teachers in six local elementary schools. Michele said that the response and reactions from the teachers has been amazing.
“We heard sometimes teachers feel unappreciated and this activity made [them] feel amazing and wonderful,” Michele aid. “Everyone is smiling when they leave with their big bags of books… This year, we even got a thank you note from a teacher who couldn’t come, but wanted to thank us for having it anyway because her colleagues enjoyed it so much.”
Michele, who originally trained to be an elementary teacher, knows first-hand the difficulties that many teachers face.
“Our teachers have the future of our world in their classrooms every single day,” Michele said. “They are asked to individually meet the needs of every child of that class, to understand them, to empathize with them, to figure out the best learning style for every single student… They have an incredibly difficult job, and yet, they volunteer to do this job. They signed up for it.”
Michele shows her appreciation to the teachers through Educator’s Night and she only hopes that the program will grow.
“We will continue to grow this program so that we are reaching more teachers,” Michele said “We will continue to look for great books, reach more teachers, more schools and more classrooms.”
Do you want to help teachers and children in your own community like Michele? Visit All for Good to find local volunteering opportunities.