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EDUCATION Sunday, february 26, 2012 Reading and creating relationships J “I thought you weren’t coming,” says second-grader, Zoe Lawson. Patricia Dollum, a volunteer reader at Hawthorne Elementary School, takes a seat next to Zoe on the couch. She lays out three books for Dollum to choose from. “You pick,” Zoe says. Every Wednesday, Dollum spends a half hour reading with Zoe after school. As a widow and retiree, Dollum wanted to find something to do with her time. When a reading position became available, she accepted. As a young woman, she had wanted to be a teacher, but a married life and children came first and the idea “fizzled out.” Without really realizing it, Dollum said the time she spends with children reading is probably fulfilling that dream a little bit. Last year was Dollum’s first time reading in the schools. She had read about positions in a newspaper and became interested. She figured if she didn’t like it she could always stop. That was not the case and she believes as long as she is able to do it, she will continue. Zoe Lawson, a second grader at Hawthorne reads to Patricia Dollum after school. Dollum is a retiree who volunteers her time to help children with their reading skills. — Brandi Hagen “If I can help a child read, it makes me feel good,” said Dollum. Zoe is the second child Dollum has read with. The first was a boy in fifth grade. There were many distractions with children coming in and out of the classroom when she read with the young boy, and it became hard to concentrate. With Zoe, they sit in the library where the only other person around is media clerk, Nikki Worman. After reading with the young boy, Dollum received letters from him and his teacher saying how much she had helped him. She felt accomplished for being able to help him become a better reader. Dollum said it was an adjustment switching from a fifth-grader to a second-grader because of the size of the books, but she doesn’t mind. When Zoe is unsure of a word, she makes an attempt to sound it out and then she lets Dollum kindly ust before 3 o’clock. She walks into the near empty library. A young girl with glasses and short blonde hair bounces up and down on a purple couch in excitement. Zoe Lawson and Patricia Dollum read after school. correct her. To check for comprehension, Dollum asks Zoe questions as they read. Worman believes Dollum gets satisfaction from see- ing Zoe’s face when they spend time together and Zoe benefits from the one-on-one time. “Zoe has that special time with Patricia and nobody else,” said Worman. “Nobody else is competing to read with Patricia, and there’s not the interruptions there might be at home. It’s just one-on-one time with a special person.” Cuddled up next to Dollum, Zoe usually does the reading, but there are times when she would rather be read to. “Ah sure I say, I can read you a book,” said Dollum. The time flies when Zoe and Dollum are together. “She says, let’s read another book,” Dollum said. “I say, honey we can’t, the time is up, but we’ll read more next time.” What is supposed to last a half hour, sometimes lasts as long 45 minutes. — Brandi Hagen taught in Hopkins Favorite book: “The Giver” Favorite sandwich: club sandwich Lakeview Elementary School Laura Hillman Age: 24 Residence: Albert Lea Family: Gary and Jackie Hillman; brothers Peter (Nichole) Hillman, David Hillman Education: Gustavus Adolphus College 2010, elementary education What she teaches: first grade at Lakeview Elementary Where she came from: third grade, part-time, at Halverson from 2010-11 Favorite book: “Heaven is For Real” Favorite sandwich: grilled cheese Meet E Kristin Kyllo the new teachers of Albert Lea School District very year, as teachers retire and others move, the Albert Lea School District hires a series of new teachers at its seven schools. This year was no different. Across the district, there were more than 30 new educators hired. The following is a brief look into the backgrounds and interests of those teachers: Halverson Elementary School Michelle Niska Age: 38 Residence: Albert Lea Family: son, 8; daughter, 4 Education: Bachelor of Science degree from MSU-Mankato, a few grad classes from various universities What she teaches: Halverson Elementary Where she came from: I lived in New Mexico for a year. Prior to that, we lived in the Twin Cities. Favorite book: Too many to choose! Favorite sandwich: Any sandwich that the Lakeside makes! Sallie Kyle Age: 23 Residence: no response Family: mom, dad, brother and fiancé New teachers at Halverson Elementary School are Sallie Kyle, Maria Schneider and Amber Schewe. Not pictured is Michelle Niska. — Sarah Stultz Education: University of Minnesota, working on a master’s degree in elementary education What she teaches: first grade Where she came from: St. Paul Favorite book: “The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton Favorite sandwich: turkey and cheese Amber Schewe Age: 28 Residence: Freeborn Family: husband, Derek; children Easton, 3, and Ellery, 1 Education: University of Wisconsin-River Falls/Winona State University What she teaches: Title I (K-3 reading and math) Where she came from: I taught second grade at St. Theodore’s Elementary for four years. Favorite book: “The Kissing Hand” Favorite sandwich: turkey on wheat Maria Schneider Age: 24 Residence: 1849 Greenwood Drive, Albert Lea Family: Lee, Jane, Teresa, Joe and George Schneider Education: bachelor’s degree from and graduate school at the University of Minnesota What she teaches: fourth grade at Halverson Where she came from: student Age: 30 Residence: Albert Lea Family: no response Education: undergraduate degree from Gustavus Adolphus College; graduate degree from Hamline University What she teaches: fourth grade Where she came from: teaching in Owatonna Favorite book: “Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day” Favorite sandwich: Anything with avocado! Meghan Lichter Age: 23 Residence: no response Family: Parents, Patrick and Ann Lichter, younger sister, Katie Education: elementary education major at the College of Saint Benedict with a concentration in science education What she teaches: kindergarten Where she came from: graduated in May from the College of Saint Benedict Favorite book: “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss Favorite sandwich: Chicken Shwarma from a small deli in St. Joseph called Bo Diddley’s 4Teachers, Page 3

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