MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - If there is one volunteer at the Dunbar Ramer School in south Montgomery County who is really making a difference, it would have to be Eddie Scott.
"They just need to know somebody cares," said Scott.
Every Monday morning for the last 10 years Eddie Scott along with 6 other volunteers from the Ramer community spend time with a few children who are struggling with the written word. What Scott does isn't necessarily magic. He is simply guiding them, page by page with the loving patience of a grandfather.
"We read books and get to say the letters," Mr. Scott said.
"Very good," he tells a youngster.
By her own admission 9-year old Brittany Givens was often frustrated two years ago when she just couldn't quite grasp the art of reading and spelling.
"I was so nervous I didn't think I'd get the words right," said Givens.
Today, a different story. Givens is not only catching on and understanding what she's reading but starting to enjoy reading which has taken Givens to a place she's never felt before; a healthier self-esteem and a feeling of accomplishment, thanks to her volunteer coach.
"It's fun now," said Givens.
And there is this story.
"I had a little girl who couldn't talk. She had a speech impediment and before last year was over she talked more than me which is a lot," Scott said with a chuckle.
Yet it's no laughing matter just what it is the volunteers are doing.
"These are people who are showing love and compassion and they're setting examples as role models," said school Media Specialist Tracey Woodall.
"Let the kids know you love them and they will open up to you," Scott said.
Have they ever. If you think volunteers like Eddie Scott are the only ones making a difference at Dunbar Ramer School, think again. It was Eddie Scott himself who needed a little encouragement when he found himself in and out of hospitals in recent years, struggling with a heart condition.
And guess who helped nurse Scott back to health? The very people Eddie Scott had been tutoring all along.
"You're going to get me emotional. I got 39 handmade cards and letters from the kids and faculty. A most-moving thing," Scott said.
All the more reason why Eddie Scott refuses to quit at 76. He's got a few more children he wants to help with their reading.
"Can you help me?" a child said to Scott.
Another reading session, another trip to the Dunbar Ramer School on Monday.
Because of volunteers like Eddie Scott school leaders say 92% of the students in grades K-3 met the benchmark on the recent national reading assessment test.
Email Bryan Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of someone who is making a difference in their community.
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