EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSNitro Elementary Volunteer, Age 93, Is A Study In Perseverance
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Taisha Walker
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Aug. 14, 2013 3:28 PM EDT
Updated: Aug. 15, 2013 9:11 AM EDT
Nitro , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Kids aren't the only ones getting settled into school.
A Nitro Elementary School volunteer is settling back in after some much needed time off.
Ina Thomas loves to read. There is one thing the 93-year-old volunteer enjoys more, helping students with their reading, vocabulary and grammar.
"I let them read to me,” Thomas said. “Other people come and read to the children, but I want them to read to me and then I can correct anything I see is wrong."
The former teacher has been volunteering her time since 1976, the year her husband died.
“I didn't want to go to an empty house, so I started volunteering,” Thomas said. “And so I’ve been volunteering on and off again since."
But Thomas was forced to stay in her empty home when she took a terrible fall during 2012's derecho.
“I fell down a long flight of steps and broke my neck and fractured my hip,” Thomas said. “I was in the hospital nursing room for three months.”
On Wednesday, Thomas returned to school and what she loves most.
“I miss the children when I'm not around, and I want to do this,” said the volunteer as she held back tears. “It's not because I'm looking for recognition. I do it because I love it.”
And Thomas is back with a lesson to share.
“That's my secret, to keep working, don't ever give up,” Thomas said before chuckling. “Don't ever give up.”
Those that see Thomas in the hallways said she is showing her students more than spelling, but the true meaning of overcoming adversity.
Thomas volunteers once a week, and she doesn't plan to stop any time soon. She said she'll continue to help kids read for as long as her health permits.
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