Prior to the accident it was my intention to share a story about HSU president, Rollin Richmond. Because we all need hope and inspiration at this time, I will continue with my intention.
About two years ago, I was approached by President Richmond who asked about the DoD's Early Partner's in Education Tutoring Program. He expressed interest in becoming a trained tutor so he could provide tutoring support to struggling young readers despite having a time consuming career and holding a doctorate degree in genetics. Why would a professional with such credentials be interested in volunteering his time to support struggling young readers when he was already changing the world in wonderful ways? The answer perhaps lies somewhere in his belief that education is the equalizer. In fact, he has been known to quote Nelson Mandela, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world". He believes in the power of a meaningful and relevant education in its ability to help combat issues associated with childhood poverty, its ability to open up "new possibilities" for individuals, its ability to help shape a thoughtful and committed citizenry, and in its ability to help improve the conditions of our local workforce and economy and believes the ability to read is a fundamental skill that all children should be supported in.
President Richmond received the training and was promptly placed at Arcata Elementary School supporting two students twice a week. Not only did he assist them to embrace reading with enthusiasm, he assisted them to recognize that the larger community cares about them...that they are connected to something much larger than themselves. We have close to 200 trained community volunteers who are collectively assisting to ensure early literacy of our young people. Each one of them and their contribution is invaluable!
As President Richmond inches closer to his announced retirement date at the close of this school year, the 100th anniversary of Humboldt State, we say...Thank you! Thank you for your commitment and passion for all students across our county. You have provided us all with an inspiring model. You have indeed left an indelible impression and our community is stronger because of your model!
For information on how you too may be able to support the efforts of the Early Literacy Partners' Tutor Program or for other ways to connect to the Decade of Difference, please contact myself or Jenny Bowen at 445-7018.
Heidi Moore, Coordinator
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