Rachel Patterson students lend a hand

Published 7:42 am Monday, April 25, 2005

By by Lee Weyhrich
When teachers at Rachel Patterson Elementary School need a helping hand they have 66 to choose from.
Thirty-three second graders have qualified to be Helping Hands this year based on their overall performance.
"Teachers choose second grade students to be Helping Hands based on their excellent citizenship, academic achievement and social skills," guidance counselor Martha Gund said. "These students perform many helping roles at Rachel Patterson, which include tutoring students, reading aloud to classes and assisting teachers and other staff members."
Raven Swain, one of the children involved in the program, primarily helps younger children with their advanced reading program books and reads test questions to the children.
"I help them read their books and help them take their tests," Raven said. "My teacher asked me to do it and I said yes."
Dominique James also helps younger children with their reading and enjoys doing it.
"It makes me feel good," Dominique said.
Gund is unsure how long the program has been in place.
"It was going on when I first came here, which was nine years ago, so it's been over nine years," Gund said.
Three students, Amanda Moore, Brandon McNeil and Jazmine Sinquefield, are assigned to Gund's office.
"I coordinate the program and I have three students that help me prepare guidance materials, star students prizes and other materials and they help me put things together in packets," Gund said. "It is a big help."
In the past Helping Hands students have greeted visiting dignitaries, helped with school projects, performed services for teachers and helped other children with their work.
"They are very enthusiastic and eager to help," Gund said.
All of the Helping Hands students will be rewarded with a certificate of achievement for their dedication to service.
"I think it is excellent for the children involved," Gund said. "It teaches them leadership and it promotes volunteerism."

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