Like any good USPS employee, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night could keep René Kvidahl, a retired USPS Computer Programmer, away from her duties as a volunteer. For nearly two decades, she has partnered with teachers at Thousand Oaks Elementary School to support them in the classroom. René is currently a volunteer math tutor in Becky Rosen’s first grade classroom.
René’s connection to Thousand Oaks started nearly 20 years ago, when Becky was her daughter’s third grade teacher. René shares that she continues to volunteer long after her daughter graduated because of her relationship with the teachers. René enjoys watching the teachers like Becky in action, learning about what’s going on in the school, keeping her mind sharp and active, and of course interacting with the students. Twice a week, René joins the classroom during math time. Several students flock to René for additional math support but it’s also clear that students are drawn to her simply for her warm and calm presence.
Her deep understanding of volunteering in a Berkeley elementary school is something that René wishes more people had, especially folks in charge of decisions that impact schools. She laments, “If you haven’t been in a classroom, you don’t have any idea what a teacher has to do…People have an idea or an opinion, but I think until they go and volunteer, they really can’t see what’s going on and it would change their attitude.” Thank you René for your years of support, advocacy, and commitment!
If you’d like to see first hand what’s going on in BUSD classrooms, contact Jissel Poblete at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about becoming a classroom volunteer.