For two mornings every week, Jerry Hein is a drill sergeant at Longwood Elementary School. In this role, he isn’t making kids do push-ups, but he does help students flex their academic muscles by learning vocabulary words and math facts.
For his dedication in supporting students and teachers, he is being recognized as the Indian Prairie School District 204 BMO Harris Bank Volunteer of the Month.
After retiring from BP Amoco, Hein was a tutor with an early intervention program for kindergarten students for seven years. After that position was phased out, he began volunteering at Longwood where his stepdaughter is a teacher. He works with students two days a week drilling them on sight words or basic math facts.
“Part of my goal is to make sure that the students are going to be successful,” he said. “If someone doesn’t help them, they will fall behind.”
When Hein arrives at the classroom, the students are eager to learn their vocabulary words or to work on their math skills. After working with the students, he keeps a detailed record of each student’s progress and increases expectations as students master their skills.
Growing up on a farm near Crown Point, Ind., Hein was one of 10 children. He credits his family with developing his ability to work with various groups of children.
“I am using people skills and seeing what works for each child,” he said. “Volunteering at Longwood is rewarding to see the students grow, but it also helps me feel that I’m doing something worthwhile.”
BMO Harris Bank is helping District 204 recognize one volunteer each month who has generously given his or her time to support District 204’s students and schools. To celebrate these outstanding volunteers, BMO Harris Bank is donating $1,000 to the volunteer’s school. To nominate an outstanding volunteer, visit. http://ipsdweb.ipsd.org/Subpage.aspx/Volunteer.