One Week Isn’t Enough to Say Thank You

Each year, staff members are tasked with highlighting a tutor for National Appreciation Week. And each year, they refuse, insisting that ALL of our tutors are important, and it’s impossible to pick just one.

They’re right.

So here are four volunteers to represent ALL of our treasured tutors. Each time new students enter our classrooms, we are grateful you’re here to ensure they get the care that they need.

Char Rapoport Nance

The Virtual Classroom (VC) has thrived since its inception in 2020 because of dedicated tutors like Char Rapoport Nance. Since joining the Seeds VC in 2021, Char has been a staple in our Zoom classes, willing to tutor any and all subjects and any and all students. 

As a VC Site Coordinator, I am always happy to see Char logging into class since I know whoever works with her will have a great session that day. We often have students who are in need of not only a tutor, but an uplifting cheerleader in their life, someone who talks to them with an open mind and who is ready not just to teach, but learn herself. Char tells me all the time that education is a two-way street, and that she learns just as much from her students as she teaches them.

When we have more students than tutors in a class, I will give Char a call to see if she minds hopping in to help, and she so often logs in immediately. And while it may seem like it’s only two hours of her day, I know that it means everything for our students. 

Having Char in the VC is something special for our students. We are truly grateful for her and the bright smile she brings to class. She has helped so many of our students to not only learn, but believe in themselves, and that is all we can ever ask of our tutors. 

~ Todd Seabrook, Virtual Coordinator


“Whoa! There’s a lot of people here!” Arriving in the Virtual Classroom (VC) is a bit like stepping into the credits of The Brady Bunch on steroids. It is guaranteed one or more of the students in any given class are working on algebra, graphing, or geometry. It is not guaranteed that one or more of the tutors in that same class feel comfortable tutoring students on these higher level math skills. Tutors like Pat Campbell, a former research chemist and math enthusiast, are the perfect fit for our higher level math students.

Pat has been tutoring with Seeds of Literacy for ten years! He began tutoring at Seeds West in 2014. When the Covid-19 pandemic closed down our in-person classrooms, the VC was created. Pat, grateful that he could continue tutoring without the 30-minute commute to the classroom, found the virtual space a much better fit for him.  He continued to tutor virtually after our physical classrooms reopened in 2021. Pat consistently tutors twice, sometimes three times a week, accruing over 900 tutoring hours!

It’s not unusual for adults who wish to continue their education to feel ambivalent about returning to a classroom. They may even feel “too old” to start again. Pat is a great example of accomplishing a goal no matter how old you are when you start pursuing it. 

Pat ran his first marathon in his sixties! Most recently, at age 80, he ran the Avon Eagles 5k in 2023 and was third place in his age group. He sees the same determination in the students he tutors. When asked about his experiences as a tutor, Pat said he admired his students: “they have the determination to keep at it despite the struggles they face day to day.”

It’s not a sprint, but a marathon, and Seeds of Literacy, with tutors like Pat, will make sure our students cross that finish line!

~ Anne Cudnik, Virtual Coordinator

Bill Higgins

“Anything but math!”

That was what Bill Higgins said to me when, on his first day, I asked him what subjects he was comfortable tutoring. I took this in stride, as it’s something I’ve heard from plenty of new tutors. The fear of math is real, and not just among our students.

This is fine, and I have many tutors like this.  However, something interesting happened with Bill over time. He’d been helping a student with her reading, but one day she asked him for help with her math. Seeing that it was something he felt comfortable with, Bill agreed. Over time, the student started making real progress. While this was great for her, it meant that the math was getting harder.

At some point, most tutors in this situation would have said, “I can’t help with this anymore.”  I have some great tutors who have helped students reach a certain threshold before passing them on to a different tutor at the next level.

Bill didn’t do this.

Instead, he seemed curious, even eager to learn.  He started taking extra math packets home. Some time later, Bill revealed to me that he was working with a tutor of his own who was helping him learn the more advanced material! These days, I have several students working in algebra and geometry who love working with Bill because “he knows how to explain it.”

Bill is patient, kind, and generous. He laughs easily and often brings in snacks to share during class. And he is always curious, always interested in learning more, always asking questions. In this way, he’s not only an excellent tutor, he’s a role model for students to follow. They see his interest in knowledge and it is positively infectious.

We should all strive to have a thirst for knowledge like Bill.

~ Chris Richards, West Site Coordinator


Seeds tutors are best defined by their generosity, care, and compassion in working with our students. I’d like to highlight the work of one tutor in particular, Faith Conroy, who has demonstrated all of these qualities since first coming to Seeds in 2015.

Faith, a native Clevelander, embodies the spirit of her name through her work with students. She still works as a school bus driver every morning, but when she saw an ad in her church bulletin almost nine years ago, she thought volunteering at Seeds would be the perfect opportunity to give back to the community. After dropping off her students, Faith rushes over to Seeds East to get in a tutoring session every week. Students who have worked with Faith always welcome her kindness and big smile and are eager to see that she’s arrived.

When I asked Faith about why she chose to become a Seeds tutor, she couldn’t help but gush about her love of reading. “Reading takes you away to wherever you want to go,” she said. Faith also shared that she admires “the bravery and courage it takes for [our students] to come back to the classroom after being away” as well as the sense of accomplishment she feels when students who come in without strong reading skills are able to read independently when they leave us.

If there’s anything Faith was surprised about when it came to tutoring with us, it’s that “Every time I came it was a learning experience. I love having the opportunity to get close to different students and make connections. Sometimes [tutoring] is about the emotions you share.”

~ Mary Oelker, East Site Coordinator


2022 Volunteer Appreciation Week

2021 Volunteer Appreciation

2019 Volunteer Appreciation Week