The branch’s community outreach program, begun several years ago by member Irene Spaetzel, continues its successful run. Irene proposed this outreach when she learned that Anne Jeans school—part of the Burr Ridge district—had special needs:
• the clientele had changed with the immigration of families from Chicago projects
• there was no existing PTA
• there were no teacher aides
• parents were often single and/or working two jobs
• incoming students did not have “the basics”
• transient children were not prepared for academic success
Over the years, the school has needed help with early testing, field trips, reading, math, working with children who are behind due to excessive absence from school. Most of all, they’ve needed help to spread the joy of learning. Members who volunteer at Anne M. Jeans enjoy lively and rewarding relationships with students and teachers, and find that helping with reading, math, and science keeps us engaged in continuous, life-long learning of our own!
Anne Jeans was an extraordinary teacher who devoted her life to education. Beginning in 1916, she taught all of the elementary grades in a one-room schoolhouse and also did all of the school’s janitorial work. After 42 years of service, Ms. Jeans retired in 1958. This remarkable teacher’s legacy still remains a part of Burr Ridge district 180—in 1979 the district renamed Palisades West School in honor of Anne M. Jeans, who lived until 1988 when she died at the age of 95.
Members who wish to volunteer—a lot or a little—are much needed and appreciated. Contact Gail Hahn, who will be happy to provide an application form and an introduction to the school staff.