Frank R. Johnson

3:02 PM, Jan 9, 2013   |    comments
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"People with disabilities can volunteer too!"

Each week, elementary students at Lucy Craft Laney School line-up to meet with Frank Johnson. The 82-year-old is one of the schools most popular reading tutors. Frank's been teaching kids how to read for six year now. What makes his volunteering even more remarkable is that Frank is blind.

"I listen to them read. They're trying so doggone hard."

Frank has many of the books memorized. If a student gets stuck on a word, he asks them to spell it out.

"The fact that I'm there, I'm reliable, that's important to these kids."

Frank started going blind as a teenager. His poor vision taught him to be proactive. He quickly learned that by putting others at ease with his disability, he could get the tutoring help he needed. Volunteer readers helped Frank to graduate from college and earn a Master's degree from the University of Minnesota.

"I needed volunteers. So now I volunteer myself. It was natural for me."

Not only is Frank teaching the life-long skills of reading, he's also teaching important lessons about living with disabilities.

SPECIAL CHARITY: Experience Corps/Volunteers of America

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