Last Tuesday, we visited Eastwood Elementary School in Warrensville Heights to sit in Brian Monter’s volunteer session of reading to elementary school children. Brian Monter, COO of South Pointe Hospital and WHACC Board Member, volunteers for an hour at Eastwood Elementary School every week. For their sessions, they take turns reading paragraphs of a story as kids point out words they aren’t familiar with. In the session we sat in, after Brian finished explaining the meaning of a word, one of the children exclaimed, “You helped me learn something today!”
When he had the time to talk, we asked Brian a couple of questions about what the reading sessions mean to him, to the Hospital and to the community.
Why do you volunteer?
I’m a parent myself and when my now eleven-year-old twins had to take Ohio’s Third Grade Reading Guarantee, it was very stressful for me and my wife. I suspect that this same stress and anxiety exists for most parents and being able to help support them and help support their kids being successful provides me with great satisfaction. And now, so far, all of the kids South Pointe and Ohio University worked with passed the Third Grade Reading Guarantee test. It’s also just a lot of fun for everyone involved.
Why does the Hospital encourage volunteering at Eastwood Elementary School?
As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child” and this is our village. We are proud to be part of it. Also, a large component of our mission is to improve the health of the community we serve. Impacting the social determinants of health, like getting a better education is critical to long term, sustainable improvement and has to start at a young age.
Why should every business volunteer?
The reality is we have the opportunity to shape the work force of tomorrow. To be successful this work cannot always start at high school or college but at a very young age. It’s also very rewarding to be a role model to these kids. It provides them with some additional and different faces that care about them and that they can look up to.
Thanks for letting us sit in, Brian!
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