Betty Ord, a coach for 17 struggling young readers, is the 2014 volunteer of the year for Reading Seed.
The children’s literacy program honored Ord for her work with students at Gale and Pueblo Gardens elementary schools.
At the awards ceremony, Ord showed several hundred other volunteers a drawing one boy created to accompany his writing journal. He drew himself and Ord as superheroes helping a child learn to read.
Reading Seed program director Tamara McKinney praised “Super Betty” for representing “the very best of what Reading Seed offers struggling readers. She is dedicated and engaged, and brings warmth and humor into every coaching sessions. Betty is there every week for the kids and takes time between each session to think about her students — what they love or want to learn more about — and what they need. She goes above and beyond to find the right book to inspire her students and she brings those stories to life when she reads with them.”
Also honored at the ceremony Thursday at the Jewish Community Center were:
Vince Baker, a volunteer at Howell school; Jackie Comisso, Larry Olivier and Jeff Jordan at Mission Manor; Tim Donovan and Nancy Weiss at Tolson; Michelle Hawk at Vesey; Mac McCarty at Desert Winds; Gail Barker at Valley Presbyterian; Norma Cable and Sue Carter at Blenman; Roger Harwell and Charlotte Harris at Robison; and Louis Brousseau at Holladay. Also recognized was Ellis Friedman, at 14 years the program’s longest-serving volunteer. He works with students at Sewell school.
Debra Armenta and Lily Martinez from Tolson were named school site coordinators of the year.
Mayor Jonathan Roths-child and the Arizona Daily Star were recognized as community partners for a recruitment campaign that resulted in 582 new coaches this school year. That brings the total number of Reading Seed volunteers to 916, serving nearly 1,700 students.