Crown Point resident Cris Genovese enjoys sharing her love for reading and learning with her community.
Genovese, a mother of two, serves as vice president of the Parent Teacher Organization at Solon Robinson Elementary School in Crown Point.
"We keep track of getting parents to volunteer, watching the budget, decide on fundraisers and help bring in the most money. We plan fundraisers like cookie dough sales that pay for assemblies and ice cream socials," she said.
"We also give each teacher $150 per year to help with classroom costs and are doing a fundraiser called Pennies for Patients that helps leukemia patients."
In addition to serving with the PTO, Genovese works four days a week at the school as a skills tutor with kindergarten through fifth-grade classes.
"We help teachers in whatever way they want," she said. "I sit in for math and reading help or small-group help. I work one on one to fix gaps in areas like comprehension or test scores. It's all teacher directed."
Genovese also volunteers her time at the school, helping with office work and organizing events such as Grandparents Day, Teacher Appreciation Week, Lunch With Santa and a Burger Bash at the end of the school year.
"The school has also started recycling drink pouches. We get two cents per pouch and are encouraging the community to bring empty pouches in," she said.
Genovese works part time at the Crown Point Community Library's reference desk, as well.
"I brought my kids there all the time. So when the job came up, I said, 'Perfect.' I love to read, and I get to share that love. People come to you and ask what's good. I get to share that.
"I read a lot of young adult fiction. I like to keep up with what's going on. When I see kids and they don't know what to pick out, I like to inspire them to read something they haven't read. I get to see the kids enjoy it," she said.
As another way to help children, Genovese volunteers with vacation Bible school at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crown Point.
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