They're tops at school volunteering


Senior volunteer Dick Dolder, left, reads with Alandre Abrams, left, and Taylor Ramon, first-graders at Littlewood. Adult volunteer Judy Lundell, bottom right, works the front desk at Kanapaha. Youth volunteer Peter Sidhom, bottom left, helps fourth-grader Kirsten Washington at Chiles.

Special to The Sun
Published: Monday, January 17, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 16, 2005 at 8:56 p.m.
Senior volunteer Dick Dolder, left, reads with Alandre Abrams, left, and Taylor Ramon, first-graders at Littlewood. Adult volunteer Judy Lundell, bottom right, works the front desk at Kanapaha. Youth volunteer Peter Sidhom, bottom left, helps fourth-grader Kirsten Washington at Chiles.
While most other kids his age are hanging out at the beach, playing video games or otherwise relaxing, Peter Sidhom has been spending his summer vacations encouraging elementary school children to read.
Judy Lundell works more than 45 hours every week, but she doesn't get overtime - she doesn't even get a paycheck.
Dick Dolder retired from teaching nearly four years ago, but since then he's put in thousands of hours at Littlewood Elementary School.
For their extraordinary dedication and service to the students and schools of Alachua County, Sidhom, Lundell and Dolder have been named Alachua County's top school volunteers for this school year.
"Alachua County is truly blessed to have wonderful people like Peter, Judy and Dick volunteering in our schools," said Superintendent Dan Boyd.
During the last school year, more than 16,000 volunteers contributed more than 703,000 hours in the district's 52 schools and centers. That includes everything from mentoring students to assisting teachers to organizing special events and programs.
"There are so many wonderful things happening in our schools that wouldn't be possible without the time and talents of our volunteers," said volunteer coordinator Liz Stark.
Sidhom, now a freshman at Buchholz High School and the district's Outstanding Youth Volunteer, attended Chiles Elementary School. During the last two summer vacations, Peter volunteered five hours a day, four days a week in the school's summer program, helping students with their reading skills and serving as a caring and willing role model.
"Volunteer Extraordinaire" is the nickname one teacher has given Lundell, the district's Outstanding Adult Volunteer. Lundell splits her time between Wiles Elementary, Kanapaha Middle and Buchholz High, where her children are students.
She's also active in the Alachua County Council of PTAs and other local organizations. At the schools, she wears many, many hats - chairing committees, organizing fund-raisers, working in the office, and providing help and guidance to individual students. She's such a valuable member of each school's community that all three nominated her as their volunteer of the year.
Dolder, the district's Outstanding Senior Volunteer, taught at Littlewood Elementary School for 15 years, retiring in 2001. But he just couldn't stay away.
As a volunteer, he has continued to work with students individually and in groups. He's even created special classroom displays to interest the children in science and nature. His contributions earned him the senior volunteer of the year.
Dolder says he was encouraged to volunteer by his good friend Barbara Gallant, the former teacher and School Board member who passed away a few months ago.
Sidhom, Lundell and Dolder will now represent Alachua County in Florida's Outstanding School Volunteer Awards program, which recognizes the state's top youth, adult and senior volunteers in each of five geographic regions.

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