Symmes Valley mother happy to be roped into position

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 16, 2003

WILLOW WOOD - Tresa Litteral may have been roped into the volunteer coordinator job at Symmes Valley Elementary - but she's not complaining.

"The secretary said, 'You can be the coordinator,'" she said. "No one else would take it, so I was stuck with it. But I'm happy to be stuck with it."

Litteral began volunteering at the school four years ago when her son Zachary, now in third grade, started kindergarten. This was done in an attempt to become better acquainted with his school and the teachers. Litteral is not only a mainstay in the school because of her volunteering, but also because of her paid job as a substitute teacher's aide.

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While many other children would prefer their parents staying at home during the school day, this is not true of her son, Litteral said.

"He loves it," she said. "The other kids tell him, 'Man, I wish my mom was at school every day.'

"I gave him a kiss once, and he said he would always give me kisses. I told him I hoped he would remember that when he got to ninth grade."

Litteral and the other volunteers spend many hours working with projects such as Right to Read week, in which they make life-size posters. They also work with the Failure Free Reading computer program, Santa's Workshop at Christmas, book fairs, teacher appreciation dinners, veteran appreciation dinners and various office jobs.

Having 15 volunteers, each with unique skills, is an asset to the program and to the school, she said.

"It's wonderful. We've volunteered 1,000 hours since school started," she said. "You get to meet people with certain special skills they're awesome at. People have special talents, and we work with that. It's very relaxed, very friendly, and the teachers are wonderful to us."