Reflections from Sterling Elementary Volunteers

For more than ten years, Temple Beth El has been a proud partner of Sterling Elementary School through Charlotte Mecklenburg School’s Faith Community Partnership program. Many of our congregants volunteer with Sterling for various projects, including school supply drives, book donations, and more. As the second semester at Sterling Elementary begins, TBE volunteers shared thoughts on their first semester successes.

Sara Friedman

“Ashley combines many things  (grammar, meaning, comprehension, writing, speaking, research , and computer skills) using a workbook. For me, there’s never a day that I am in the classroom that I do not learn not only from Ashley but also from the students. I leave knowing that I both have helped and received.”

Phyllis Berlin

“As a first-time classroom volunteer, I feel fortunate to be working with Ms. Martinez, a seasoned elementary school teacher. Very conscientious and attuned to her large class of kindergartners, she’s made me feel quite welcomed. Best of all she has encouraged the children to include me while they work on their classroom assignments, and it’s that interaction that has been so fun and rewarding.”

Judy Coco

“‘How sweet it is…’ Every week I look forward to being ‘tackled’ by about 20 kindergarteners upon my arrival to the classroom. They are so appreciative of the attention and want to make me proud. During my hour with the kids, Ms. Tecco rotates three groups of students through various literacy stations. For 12 minutes at a time, I’m working with about 6 students to neatly write upper and lower case letters. Since I started in November, I have noticed progress and confidence to show me their improvement. One student turned the pages of his Letter Book to show me how much neater his letters had become. Does life get any better?”

Kim Wilkoff

“Each week I help 4 children master basic skills and gain confidence in math.  I see such growth. The need for help is even greater now. The pandemic and remote learning have put a larger gap in learning for most children. I find great satisfaction tutoring with Heart Math.”

Jenn Sawyer

“This is my first year volunteering at Sterling Elementary and it’s been amazing. The kindergartners are so sweet and rush to hug me when I arrive! My teacher is so adept at handling her large brood. She is very supportive and organized. Each day, the students rotate through stations practicing decoding, handwriting, rhyming, etc. It is so much fun working with these kids. I leave every day with a smile on my face!”

Nanci Granow

“The young staffs are amazingly energetic and have way too much to do.  The students so want attention and to learn. Can see how their confidence in English increases after several weeks of one-on-one reading. It is amazing how quickly they pick up the language.”


Sterling staff expressed much appreciation for all TBE does for them.  Interested in learning more or how to get involved?  Contact Ruth Pordes, TBE-SES Partnership Liason for more information. 

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