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Teacher works for free in Muskegon Heights | Education

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Teacher works for free in Muskegon Heights

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WZZM)- A laid-off teacher is giving back to the community by volunteering at a school in Muskegon Heights. It comes at a time when the district is dealing with financial problems and had to get eliminate music and art programs.

"My dad and I love teaching and being with them and this came up," says Suella Bailey. She and her dad are teachers. Bailey was laid-off from Reeths-Puffer and her dad, Dave Dykema, is retired from Reeths-Puffer. Recently, they heard a call for volunteers in Muskegon Heights.

Sonya Hernandez, Principal at Edgewood Elementary says, "I put some things out on Facebook and it snowballed into this big effort by complete strangers."

People started coming forward to help, including Bailey and her dad. "I was tired of sitting at home, it was like God gave me the opportunity in my lap."

The father and daughter come to the school twice a week, to teach art. Neither of them gave any thought to where they were going. The City of Muskegon Heights and the School District have been facing challenges for years. "We're the type of people that we will just, we love kids, and we don't care where. It's our calling."

Hernandez says it is great to have experienced teachers volunteering in one of the classrooms. "We are so fortunate because if they weren't certified teachers, the teachers would have to stay with volunteers."

"For us, this is our payment, to see them enjoy art," says Bailey. The smiles on their faces are proof, that the arts are important to students. It allows them to express themselves in a different way. "It's just fulfilling. It really is, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't."

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