supporting Cambridge public school students

Say hello to CSV Tutor Susan Milmoe!

Over the years, Susan has had several different experiences as a CSV volunteer. As soon as she retired as an academic publisher in 2005, she was delighted to be able to resume volunteering. Her first assignment was tutoring a second grader from Haiti in reading and writing.

By the end of fifth grade, her amazingly bright tutee, Leah, had aced the MCAS, tied for third place in a city-wide poetry competition in which there were nearly 700 entries, and was doing sixth grade exercises with ease. Leah had also mastered some of the mysterious features of Susan’s cell phone, like the camera, and succeeded in explaining them to Susan.

Along the way, Susan picked up other “assignments,” and more recently has worked as a coach in a first and second grade Writers’ Workshop and as a K-2 “publisher.” The kids adore this activity, she reports. Susan once ran into one of her student authors, accompanied by his parents, on the street. To her amusement, the student introduced Susan as “my publisher!”

Susan Milmoe (left) at the CSV Now! Event. Susan was an ambassador for the CSV Publishing Program with fellow volunteer, Nancy Spence (right). They created a wonderful display of the published stories for grades K-2.  Susan publishes at the Martin Luther King School. Nancy leads the publishing at the Graham and Parks School.

Three lasting legacies of the program for Susan are her deepening awareness of children’s incredible resilience and ability to learn; an ongoing respect for the hard work teachers have to do (and that her Martin L. King Jr. School teachers do so well); and her appreciation of other cultures. In each of her classes, up to one-third of the students speak another language at home. Often no two students in class speak the same language. There is great variety – Somali, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Mandarin, and others. The parents of some children are immigrants (not infrequently refugees); some are graduate students in the Boston area who will return to their countries.  She is amazed every year by the progress the students are able to make.

Susan loves children, so her engagement with them in school brings great joy. To acknowledge her service to young elementary students over the past eight years, CSV recently presented Susan with a Mack Davis Award and looks forward to her continued involvement as a volunteer.

Thank you notes to Susan from the writers.