SYSK: 89-year-old Mildred Betts helping students learn - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: 89-year-old Mildred Betts helps students learn


by Danielle Wagner

FARLEY (KWWL)89-year-old Mildred Betts is known as Grandma Millie at Drexler Elementary School in Farley.

She's volunteered in Marna Heitz's second grade classroom for about seven years. Before that, she volunteered for two other teachers.

"I love it," said Mildred Betts.

Millie helps students with reading and spelling five days a week.

"I'm here everyday, whether they like it or not (laughs)," said Millie.

Grandma Millie works with students one-on-one, a luxury teacher Marna Heitz doesn't have with a full classroom.

"Just the fact somebody else is taking the time to pull them out one at a time, to listen to them read, to help them with spelling words, I don't have time to do that with 24 students. I can do small groups, and I can take a couple seconds but Grandma Millie can spend as much time with each student as she can, so it's wonderful," said Marna Heitz.

Mildred Betts turns 90 in April, but she believes it's important to stay active and give back to the community.

"It's fun, not hard, but you get tired. But when you're old you get tired," she said.

Betts arrives each day around 7:45 a.m. and usually leaves around 11:30 a.m.

"She's very faithful. Kids ask where's Grandma Millie. They expect her to be here and she's here," said Heitz.

"Do they make you feel older or younger? Depends on the day. (laughs) Mostly younger," said Mildred Betts.

And almost everyone in the school knows Grandma Millie.

"It's funny to see kids from past years who see her in the hall and say hi Grandma Millie and hug her. So it's good for the kids," said Heitz.

Mildred Betts said in the classroom is where she likes to be, listening to the students become great readers.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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