Dale Turnham

Dale Turnham helping a friend discover reading

“The experience has transformed me in that I have discovered that I have skills working with young children and, again, learning that one is not too old to master new situations,” says Easter member Dale Turnham. Dale spends one day a week at Glacier Hill Elementary working with students on their reading skills. In just an hour and a half, Dale is challenging himself and developing an enthusiasm for learning in his students.

After retirement, Dale considered ways to volunteer that would serve the community while using his skills and interests. He says, “I visited with Pastor Jim about this and he gave me some helpful suggestions.” His wife, Terolle, also gave him some good advice.

In the end, Dale decided to try tutoring students in reading at one of the local schools. His next task: choosing the school where he could make the greatest impact in his community.

“I decided to investigate Glacier Hills Elementary in Eagan because Terolle is a former colleague of the principal, Jeff Holten, and it is our neighborhood school,” says Dale. After meeting with Jeff, it was decided that Dale would work with first graders. He was assigned to Emma Holmblad’s class to help the students improve their reading skills.

Dale Turnham

Dale Turnham with a student

During the hour and a half he spends at Glacier Hills each week, Dale is able to help six to eight students. He explains, “They select books appropriate for their skill level and read them with me. My job is to help them when they have problems.”

One of the unique challenges Dale has had to face is the students’ skill levels. In the first grade, skills can vary greatly from student to student. In spite of this, Dale says, “The one common denominator is their enthusiasm for learning.”

It has been five years since he started this amazing journey to discover that it is never too old to master new things.

Dale hopes that everyone knows, “My work and the work of other Easter members volunteering in local schools will contribute to a positive transformation in local education.”

“ Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14