Air date: October 6, 2011
Once a week an unusual group gathers. The young ones walk and the older ones hop in a car pool. What’s going on here is something called the Tutoring TREE, only the branches of this particular tree are city kids who need help and some older retirees from the suburbs who are willing to give it. Jerry: Well I really enjoy it. The kids are so full of energy. Jerry’s been here 10 years. Ed has been here 22. Ed: I try to kind of be like a grandfather and kids get along pretty much with their grandparents. Ann came one week and kept on coming. That was 20 years ago Ann: One of the little girls said to me, how much do you get paid? I don’t get paid. What? Why are you doing this? (Laughing) Albom: And what was your answer when she said why are you doing this? Ann: I don’t need to get paid. I enjoy doing this. (Laughing) The Tutoring TREE is just one way older folks with spare time can change lives. Ed: I fell in love with Detroit 50 years ago when I first interviewed for a job and I still think of myself as a Detroit even though I live in the suburbs. It’s just men and women teaching children. A small thing but a huge thing. Albom: This is a little like tutors carpool here. Group: That’s right (laughing) Albom: I like that. You could put that on the side of your car. Group: Yeah (laughing) Albom: Tutors on board Group: That’s right (laughing) Ed, Ann, Jerry and other volunteer tutors defining the heart of Detroit.