Neighbor since: 2000
Retired elementary school teacher Linda Suereth used to lead classrooms of children from varied backgrounds; many of them came from broken homes.
Now, in her 11th year as a volunteer in Florida’s Guardian ad Litem Program, Suereth sometimes attends parent-teacher conferences, at which she learns more about the lives of abused and neglected children.
She helps at-risk children navigate the complex court system, all the way to finding each child a permanent, safe home.
After taking on a case, Suereth first gets to know the child in his environment.
Inside the home, Suereth is often not alone: in uncomfortable situations, her husband, Skip, also a volunteer guardian, will accompany her for support.
Suereth seldom asks the children questions. She just listens for as long as it takes the courts to find a child a permanent home, which is often one year.
Most cases — Suereth has worked on 16 of them involving 36 children — end happily, and Suereth’s relationship continues thereafter.
Suereth regularly Facebook chats with a girl she once helped carry to permanency.
The girl is a woman now and she is pregnant with a child of her own.
IN HER OWN WORDS:
On developing trust with an abused child:
“I don’t ask a lot of questions. I try to develop a relationship. I play games with them. Sometimes, the child will teach me a game.”
Currently 0 Responses
9 Pasta, Risotto, and Gnocchi
10 Cooking Class: 'Tis the Season
12 Cooking Class: At Season's Peak: Winter Squash
13 Holidays around the Ranch
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
13 Holidays Around the Ranch-Lakewood Ranch
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
14 FREE Pictures with Santa Cow!
8:00 am - 10:30 am
14 Gingerbread Houses
14 Italian Wine and Dine
Kindergarten children at Primrose of Lakewood Ranch saved their money from chores and went on a shopping spree Nov. 22, to Publix.
Realtors with Michael Saunders & Co.’s Lakewood Ranch office offered a special slice of thanksgiving Nov. 27, in preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Sweets for soldiers
Students at Nolan Middle School made the holiday season extra sweet for area soldiers.