EDITORIAL: Thumbs up

Apr. 28, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

THUMBS UP: Governor’s Award recipients

Volunteers aren’t celebrated nearly as much as they should be, especially those who commit years of dedicated service to organizations and people whose very quality of life, in some case, depends on their work.

We would venture a guess that Ruth Conder, Don Schreiner and Doris Sylvester — who work for organizations like the Lee County Enrichment Center and the Helping Hand Clinic — didn’t pour sweat equity into this community for the glory it brings. But the trio did receive appropriate recognition when they were honored this week with the 2013 Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service.

The award is given annually to as many as five people in each county who live the kind of spirit Conder exhibited when she said this week, “I love helping people.” Sylvester echoed the sentiment of all three when she said, “I think God put me on this earth to be a part of it, and I think God has led me to this position.”

To Conder, Schreiner and Sylvester — and all of those in Lee County who, like them, put the needs of others before themselves in the spirit of volunteerism — we thank you.

THUMBS UP: Reading Day

This coming Tuesday has been designated “Reading Day” at local elementary schools. “Reading Days” have been standard fare in schools for many years, usually consisting of opportunities for adults to visit classes and read specific books to the young students. But the event in Lee County turns the tables slightly  the United Way of Lee County is connecting adults and students through its “Volunteer Lee” program (through the website www.volunterlee.com). And those who sign up won’t be going to read, but rather to hear the children read — or discuss what they’ve recently read with the volunteers.

Volunteer Ron Hewett, who’s led the effort to get agencies, organizations and other volunteers to connect with each other through volunteerlee.com, says the first purpose of this particular Reading Day is to “give the kids a chance to show off their reading skills, and two, get people channeled through Volunteer Lee.”

There’s a direct correlation between reading skills and academic (and subsequently, life) performance. Reading Day in Lee County underscores the importance of reading and connectivity through volunteering. If you haven’t yet made plans to take part, check the project out at www.volunteerlee.com.