Friday, May 6, 2016

Red Cross Salutes Teachers: Tara Graham-Turner

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week, a time when everyone should stop to thank our educators for all they do to build strong communities. The American Red Cross in Greater New York is proud to count many wonderful teachers among our dedicated volunteers. This week, we want to spotlight their amazing commitment, compassion and talent. 

Tara Graham-Turner
Tara has been a teacher for 13 years. She decided to volunteer with the American Red Cross Metro New York North chapter after Superstorm Sandy. Tara is a Disaster Action Team (DAT) responder, a member of a shelter team, and also helps with administrative tasks like entering data into the client assistance system (CAS 2.0).

Q: What inspired you to be a teacher? 
A: I met my best friend, Kim Reed, in middle school. She invited me to see her mother's kindergarten classroom. The minute I stepped into Mrs. Reed’s room I knew I wanted to teach.

Q: If you wanted to share one thing about teaching with us what would it be? 
A: Whatever grade you teach make sure that you leave room for the social emotional needs of your kids. A child is going to struggle to attend to a math lesson if they are upset over something that happened on the playground.

Q: What made you decide to volunteer with the Red Cross? 
My family and I stayed in a shelter during Hurricane Sandy. We were treated with unconditional love and kindness. After our stay I felt passionate about becoming a volunteer.

Q: What characteristics do you think a teacher and a Red Cross volunteer have in common? 
A: Teachers and Red Cross volunteers want what’s best for the people they are working with. As a teacher I get to know my students and move them along academically. I see to their needs emotionally. As a volunteer you get to be out in the community when the community needs you most. Teachers and a volunteers lend an ear and support to people in need. A student may need instructional support. A client needs support with next steps. Both roles, teacher and volunteering need patience and compassion.

To learn more about becoming a volunteer with the Red Cross visit 

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