The following is part of a new series that will be a part of ETV10 News.
When students at Creekview Elementary sit with Alberta Bianco to work on their reading, phonetic skills or homework, they most likely don’t know much about the title-one aid who helps students in first, second and third grades. They most likely don’t see in her eyes the number of years she has spent working with children. They may not see her desire to help them succeed, although it is always present.
Bianco first started working at Creekview Elementary as a volunteer when her oldest daughter was in kindergarten. After volunteering the whole of the school year, the school’s principal approached her about applying for a job at the school, which she did.
Bianco was hired at the school and worked four-hour days five days a week, but she didn’t stop there. Continuing after her paid four hours, she would volunteer for the rest of the school day running errands for teachers and doing any work that needed to be done, often times taking it beyond the school’s final bell.
“I did a lot of volunteer at home,” she explained. “Correcting papers, cutting out laminations and just doing things for teachers.” After working and volunteering at the local elementary for such a long time, she explained how she decided to stay at the school she had grown to love even when her children moved to higher level schools. “You’re on your own,” she remembers telling them, laughing. “I’m staying down here.”
Bianco has since worked at Creekview Elementary for a total of 28 years, helping students and teachers alike. Despite a five-hour work day, Bianco continues to volunteer at the school after her daily hours are completed and even runs a tutoring program after school and in the summer.
She boasts a near perfect attendance record of which she is proud to admit. “I never miss unless there’s an emergency,” she explains. Even at the end of last school year, when faced with the final day of school that would not be a paid work-day, Bianco still entered the doors of Creekview as usual. “I didn’t ask for pay,” she explained. “I want to come in because I’m not going to miss a day.”
However, her work is not just the product of a desire to keep a clean attendance record. “I feel like I’ve accomplished something when I feel like I’ve taught these kids something,” Bianco said. “I look forward to getting up in the morning and knowing I’m going to do something good that day.”
And she does, one child at a time.
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