Community Member Gives in More Ways Than One

Doris French has been volunteering in Joyce Kuethe’s classroom for over 10 years. Mrs. Kuethe sent an ask for volunteers and Doris’s daughter Doreen Zumwalt shared the opportunity with her mom. Doris’s husband and children graduated from Marion as well as some of her grandchildren. She participates in the community band that practices at Vernon Middle School and has attended school performances for many years. A couple years ago she worked with the Foundation to gift the MHS band a vibraphone and has donated to other projects as well.

Doris currently helps lead the Read Naturally program in Mrs. Kuethe’s Longfellow Elementary classroom, which helps students with fluency and accuracy in reading. She comes in once a week from October through May, and even helps organize the materials for other volunteers. This includes a “grandma group” made up of volunteers who come back year-after-year like Doris. These volunteers include Bonnie Moore, Annette Waldron and Carol Strike.

2nd grade teacher Mrs. Kuethe when asked about Doris’s impact on her classroom shared, “She always comes in with a smile on her face and the students love when the volunteers show up. The program is crucial in helping students practice reading text at their level and working on increasing their speed and accuracy. This program could not happen without the help of volunteers.”

When 1st grade teachers at Longfellow and Starry Elementary submitted a grant to the Foundation for “Read It, Build It, Write It, Use It” boards this fall Doris was happy to help, covering half the cost so the Foundation could purchase a set of 24 for each of the seven classrooms. These magnetic, dry-erase boards are providing 1st graders a fun way to practice their sight words, a cornerstone for reading fluency that will translate well to the Read Naturally program in 2nd grade.