Dear Judy and Fannie,
I would like to offer my condolences for the recent loss of your
sister. My name is Yvette Rogers and I was one of the two reading
volunteers to read with Helga on the day of her death.
It was my first time volunteering with the organization and Helga's
enthusiasm was infectious. She told me she had been doing it since 2000
and she had given up a lot of Saturdays to be here but it was worth
it. The three of us went to a classroom to read to a group of 4th
graders. I wasn't sure exactly how to act, what type of comprehension
questions to ask, but Helga set the pace beautifully. She was kind
and respectful of the children, asking them questions and engaging
them in the story. She explained one of the goals of Reading to Kids
is to have the children not only hear but also speak English.
I found out after the reading portion that she was also a 4th grade
teacher. I had even more respect for her, knowing that after working
with 4th graders all week, she would come in on a Sat. and work with
the same age group. She explained that she didn't consider Reading to
Kids like her job. After the reading portion was done, we all did a
craft. She made a Valentine's Day card.
Afterwards, at El Cholo, Helga was very kind to me. She encouraged me
to join her at her table and introduced me to those sitting around us.
It was because of her that I made the decision to become more
involved with Reading to Kids.
I can only imagine how this sudden loss must have affected you. I
just wanted you both to know that the last few hours of Helga's life
were filled with joy. It was obvious she enjoyed what she was doing
and I feel privileged that I got to spend time with her.