Elaine Downing is RSVP’s March Volunteer of the Month. Elaine volunteers with the America Reads program in Crestview Elementary School. She started in the fall and is devoted to the kids she sees each week.
“There are two fourth grade boys I see nearly every week,” Elaine tells; “they look forward to seeing me, too. It’s a lot of fun.”
She also tells a story of having a moment of doubt as to whether she was making any difference for the kids and quickly finding the answer. “I came in the week after Christmas and all of the kids had made me Christmas cards. They all had things like “You’re the best, Mrs. Downing.” And “you’re my favorite, it was fantastic.”
Elaine looked to volunteering after retiring from social work. She worked in Cumberland County for the Office of Aging for many years. Before that she had been a stay at home mom and a substitute teacher. She’s lived in Central Pennsylvania for 35 years, but is originally from New Jersey.
The desire to touch children’s lives is strong with Elaine’s family; her two sons and daughter-in-law are also teachers. When not volunteering, Elaine enjoys time with her young grandson and planning for her upcoming trip to Japan, where one son teaches English.
“It will be my first time; I’m really looking forward to it. We’ll get to visit an exchange student I had many years ago and have kept in touch with.”
For more information about volunteering with RSVP in Cumberland County contact Michelle Jones at 717-541-9521 or by email at PerryCumb@rsvpCapReg.org