Photo courtesy Cy-Fair ISD
Volunteer makes impact within Cy-Fair ISD
Ray Ramer is 73 years old, and he attends school five days a week. He mentors children within Cy-Fair ISD and has been volunteering for 13 years. Ramer plans to put in that many more years, helping children understand they have matter and value.
“Mentoring is heartfelt listening and communicating,” he said. “It’s sharing bits of life.”
The district’s Partners in Education division runs the mentoring program and trains people to work with children from kindergarten through high school. Games are great ways to reach out to kids, and Ramer totes with him a chessboard and a deck of Uno cards.
“The game is a vehicle,” he said. “I relate mistakes in the game to life—for example, they may lose a chess piece because of impetuousness.”
Ramer talks through how not to make the mistake again. He will even get out on the playground to play tag.
Sometimes, the game stops and talking takes over.
“In twenty years, these boys won’t remember who won or lost a match, but they will remember who sat across the chessboard from them,” Ramer said.
Some children have problems Ramer cannot fix. But there are many sunny days, as he calls them, in which he works himself out of a job, because children move on when they get involved with positive activities.
Pam Scott has been director of the mentoring program, working in community relations for Cy-Fair for 20 years. She hosts training sessions for mentors, and Ramer shows up each time to give his testimony.
“Ray is a generous man with his time,” Scott said. “He is kind and community-spirited. Ray gives of himself—not just his time—but his 100 percent attention. When he makes a commitment to show up on campus, they can count on him. Kids ‘get’ him. Ray makes a positive impact by walking the talk, inspiring them.”
Ramer has no plans to quit mentoring. If anything, he hopes to encourage others to volunteer within the district, especially men.
“You become old if you don’t see youth,” Ramer said. “I have fun, and I am blessed more than they are.”