September 2, 2014 / 7th of Elul, 5774
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I cannot emphasize enough how much we appreciate all our GBJCL volunteers, returning and new. Please know that we truly value each and every volunteer’s contribution. This month, I would like to highlight one specific group of volunteers; educators.

At GBJCL, we are delighted to find that a number of our volunteers are retirees returning to their lifelong profession. Recently, I received an email from my now retired fourth grade teacher, Susan Bloom, welcoming me as GBJCL’s new program coordinator. “That's one of the things I miss most from my teaching days,” she wrote to me about her time helping students at the Potter Road School during writing time. And she isn’t the only one.

A large number of our volunteers taught or worked in schools and find their years of experience and knowledge of education valuable resources in tutoring with GBJCL. Elaine Wiesen explains, “As a retired teacher, I enjoy working with the teachers and children and being able to use my expertise doing something I love.”

New volunteer Elisabeth Rubin, after being a kindergarten teacher for 5 years and a school librarian for over 20 years, really missed interacting with students. She and others are drawn to return to that school environment almost immediately, in a volunteer capacity.

For those who taught older children, such as longtime volunteer Rita Hettinger, spending time with elementary school students is a chance to continue to learn. “I was a middle & high school teacher prior to retirement. I thoroughly enjoy working with first graders. It's a challenge and a wonderful learning experience for both the students and myself.” What a wonderful illustration of the notion that the best way to learn is to teach!

I am impressed and humbled by the teachers who, in retirement, share their time, energy, and skills gained from a lifelong profession. We at GBJCL are further honored by their endorsement of our program and want to take this opportunity to say. . . . Thank you teachers!

GBJCL Tutor and Team Leader, Elaine Wiesen, a retired teacher from Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston

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The Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy (GBJCL) mobilizes the Jewish community to help elementary school children discover the joy of reading. Through partnerships with synagogues, Jewish community organizations, day schools and local businesses GBJCL engages volunteers in school based...

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