"The Extra Mile" - February, 2013 - Estelle Griggs of Fort Wayne

By Linda Jackson
By Nina Settappa

February 20, 2013 Updated Feb 21, 2013 at 8:31 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - Think back. Did you have a teacher who made quite an impact on you?

I'd like to introduce you to a Fort Wayne teacher nominated for this month's "The Extra Mile" award.

Julie Houser of Forest Park Elementary nominated co-worker Estelle Griggs who's taught there for 27 years.

Mrs. Griggs emphasizes reading and knows how important it is for students from the local Burmese population and their parents as they learn English.

Two years ago, Mrs. Griggs began spending much of her time in the summer driving to neighborhoods to meet with Burmese children. With books in hand, families gather around during each visit.

Mrs. Houser calls Mrs. Griggs an icon.

Julie Houser says, "She is always doing more than what is asked of her. She does more at Forest Park with extra activities after school and with students who need more help learning. She does our Science Bowl, Math Bowl and Spell Bowl. She goes from one thing to the next, and then she goes into the summer with supporting our Burmese families in their neighborhood. They don't come to school. She goes to them every Tuesday. She is very humble and selfless. She only thinks about making kids better by learning, and the more information she can put in their hands, the more they'll be successful lifelong learners."

Estelle Griggs says, " I do do it for me in that I get the satisfaction of working with them and seeing their little faces light up when I come and when their parents come to school. I see all their faces light up because they recognize that lady who comes to read to them. It's wonderful, the desire to learn. It's just in them, and they come to school, and they just want to do their best. I've had children just make phenomenal progress, and they're such a good example to the rest of the kids that are here... these children coming in with no English, and suddenly are they not only learning English, but they're learning English through reading.

Mrs. Griggs says if you feel a calling, go for it!

If you'd like to nominate someone who goes The Extra Mile, go to our website, www.incnow.tv, and click on the Features tab.

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