Hampstead, NC (WWAY) - This week's Extraordinary Person of the Week is someone I call the '2nd Grade Sidekick'. Myra Hand chooses to help her close friend inside the classroom instead of sitting at home.
Part of the email reads, "She does not work for the school, nor does she have any children attending that school. Yet, she is there assisting every single day." The viewer went on to say Myra Hand was extraordinary and deserved a little recognition.
After meeting her....I couldn't agree more.
"I was like, I can not just sit around and not do anything," Myra Hand said. So, she did something. Four out of five days a week of the school year Myra can be found inside Robin Brown's 2nd grade classroom at South Topsail Elementary.
"So going in the classroom working with children has always been my passion," Myra said. "With this classroom being open and them taking T-A's(teacher assistant) away from 2nd grade, I came in and she was like YES Mrs Hand, come on! (laugh). And she allows me free reign, so it's like teacher assistant, but volunteer status."
Volunteer status. You know, no paycheck. But don't tell Myra she isn't getting paid because she'll disagree. "I'm disabled, so that's where my free time comes in," Myra said as she described how she finds the time to volunteer full-time. "To keep me from sitting around and my bones creaking and getting stiff, sulking, that you're so young to be considered disabled. I come into the classroom. It's true that children will keep you feeling younger and they do every year."
For at least 5 years straight she's clocked in when the school bells rings. "Yeah, I'm here first thing in the morning, if she needs copies, I do copies, watch over the children."
A perfect sidekick, exxceeeeept foooooor....."One thing I don't do(laughing), I don't do outside, Myra joked. ("it gets hot outside!?") "Yes it's hot!! If there are children who haven't finished their work, they stay inside with me. They finish that, and then they are allowed to go outside."
She's even helped her friend's kids in this very classroom. "One of the best things I heard a couple years ago, a little girl said this has been the best grade level yet and you know, that's what you want to hear, but when you look in a childs eyes, and you feel like you can sense that they are telling the truth. then your mission has been accomplished," Myra said regarding the grateful feeling of helping out.
"(Daniel)So now we're at the end of the school year, what are you going to do with your time?"
"That is a good question! (laughing). That's a really good question. Well I'm also a minister," she replied.
And....Myra...you are also...Extraordinary.
Sidenote: Myra and Robin Brown(the teacher she helps) have been friends for many years.
For more information on how you can volunteer inside a classroom, contact your local school district.
Volunteers may be required to have background checks.