For almost a year now, Mr. Kas and Mr. Ron have traveled about 40 minutes together every Monday and Wednesday to read with Club members at Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester. Both retired, Mr. Kas (who also volunteers on Thursdays) and Mr. Ron were interested in giving back to the community and working with youth at a place that was making a difference.
When choosing an organization to volunteer at, Mr. Kas, a retired physician and director of the emergency department at Lakeside Hospital in Brockport, felt especially connected to the 19th ward area. He spent the first 10 years of his career in medicine as the Director of the Emergency Department at St. Mary’s down the street from the Club.
“Rochester gave me an opportunity to grow in my career, so I wanted to help in return,” Kas said.
Mr. Kas and Mr. Ron were already volunteering together at Food Shelf in Brockport. That’s where Mr. Kas shared his positive experience in the Accelerated Reading (AR) Program at Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester with Mr. Ron. He knew that he too had to get involved. Although Mr. Ron, a retired biology and physics teacher, can sometimes be found answering questions in the homework room, his main spot is also the AR room.
“I really enjoy the AR room because if you can’t read, you can’t survive in society,” said Ron. “It gives kids a head start so they can succeed in school and adulthood.”
“I enjoy connecting with the children and seeing them progress is very rewarding,” said Kas. “You can talk with the members and really learn about different issues they’re facing.”
Both gentlemen were recognized at last year’s Accelerated Reading and Homework Award Night for their contributions and dedication, not only to the success of the program, but more so the children. Mr. Kas even dressed up as Cat in the Hat for National Read Across America Day!
From the moment they get in the car together, Mr. Kas and Mr. Ron continue to look forward to each time they come. They enjoy the friendship and conversation they have to and from the Club, and have established lasting bonds with Club members and staff.
“Mr. Kas and Mr. Ron get it,” said Mr. Ricks, the Accelerated Reading Program coordinator. “My co-workers and I call them the ‘dynamic duo’ of Accelerated Reading. These gentlemen have become permanent fixtures in AR and, more importantly, our kids’ lives.”
We sincerely appreciate Mr. Kas and Mr. Ron for all they’ve done for the Accelerated Reading Program and the tremendous impact they have on each Club member they spend time with. Thank you!