Tutoring for a cause


Erin Plenus (12) helps a child she is tutoring with reading. She has helped with tutoring for three years.

Ayah Eid, Author

On Tuesdays, Erin Plenus (12) volunteers as a tutor at the National Down Syndrome Association.

“I volunteer on Tuesday nights from 4:30 to 6:30, and I tutor 3 to 4 kids. They’re a half hour session each and we either do math or reading. With all my kids this year, I’m doing reading but last year, I switched off,” Plenus said.

Plenus started volunteering her Sophomore year for Dollar for Scholars.

“I was literally just looking for Dollars for Scholar opportunities and I did a couple of random PTO organization stuff. Then, I got forwarded an email from my mom. She sent it to me and said to check it out,” Plenus said.

Tutoring became an activity Plenus looked forward to due to the way she felt about the kids and the environment she was in.

“They’re so sweet.Your heart just gets so full and you’re smiling the entire time,” Plenus said.

The Down Syndrome Association started with one tutor eight years ago and has now grown to 10 tutors.

“I think we have a lot of good volunteers. They’re wonderful people and they are sweet. Always sweet. It’s refreshing to see the people who do come and volunteer and help,” Kathy Dybowski, Head of Tutoring, said.

The organization also has other events and services in place for those with disabilities. The Down Syndrome Association is open to all.

“The Down Syndrome Association opens to everyone. They have people who give them legal things and health things. They create a community to go to if someone has questions or a problem or they don’t know what to do,” Plenus said.