Pride of the Pine Belt: Charles Kroen

By Colleen Donovan - bio | email

HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - Charles Kroen of Petal is a faithful volunteer at the DuBard School for Language Disorders at Southern Miss.

According to Kroen, "To me if I can do anything to help a child just read better that's great and some of them I've read with have gone on to bigger things."

Kroen listens to the children on an individual basis weekly as they read out loud to him. Often times Kroen will make suggestions on how to pronounce certain words.

"And when they read to me and really feel like they are reading good, it raises their self esteem," said Kroen.

He works with the DuBard School's older children ages nine to thirteen that need a little extra confidence in their reading abilities. One of the classes he spend time with is Alison Webster's. Webster is one of the school's teachers.

Webster explains, "He comes in, he makes them feel very special. We have to make a calendar to make sure all of our students are seen throughout the month because they are so excited about reading with him."

Often times the books students read with Kroen are ones they picked out themselves. Kroen said, "It's a win win proposition. I listen, they read, they learn and their self confidence rises."

In addition to his work at the DuBard School, Kroen also volunteers at the Dynamic Dyslexia Design School, or 3D school in Petal. At that school he reads bible stories and tells tales about World War two.

"To me, I don't think it's a big deal but anybody should volunteer for something when you get older, volunteering is a great thing to me," said Kroen.

Kroen said he enjoys helping the children read because they are this country's future generation.

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