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Volunteer of the Month: February

Reported by webmaster@ipsd.org on 2/16/17

Books are Anu Baloo's passion, so volunteering at the Granger Middle School Library Media Center was a perfect fit. Even though her children have moved on to high school and college, Anu continues to volunteer there creating beautiful, unique works of art that complement the books and help guide students to find that perfect book. For her commitment to promoting the arts and literacy, she is being recognized as the District 204 BMO Harris Bank Volunteer of the Month.

"It's been a real honor to see my art work on permanent display at the Granger LMC and now to top it all, this award is very humbling," Anu said.

In 2010, Anu began volunteering at the Granger LMC where she assisted students and teachers. When Granger LMC Director Lynne White started the One Book, One School program, she discovered Anu's love of art and asked her to do a painting for the inaugural event. That beautifully crafted painting was the beginning of a partnership that has lasted six years. Every year, Anu creates a painting for One Book, One School, which is signed by the author and then is displayed in the LMC.

Another of Anu's gifts is creating book art, where the pages of a book are marked and folded to form shapes and figures that complement the book's theme. Many of these imaginative designs are displayed throughout the LMC, She also teaches the technique to students in afterschool programs at Granger and Metea Valley High School.

Anu grew up in Chennai in South India and came to the U.S. in 1993 as a graduate student at Northern Illinois University. Later, her husband's job took her to Singapore and Hong Kong, where she became an active volunteer at her children's schools. She has been an Aurora resident since the family's return in 2010.

Today, her son is a junior at Metea and her daughter is a senior at Tufts University in Boston.

"I think volunteering is a way of giving back to the schools and the community for all that it has given you and your children," she said. "As Mother Theresa said, ‘We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.'"

BMO Harris Bank is helping District 204 recognize one volunteer each month who has generously given his or her time to support District 204's students and schools. To celebrate these outstanding volunteers, BMO Harris Bank is donating $1,000 to the volunteer's school. To nominate an outstanding volunteer, visit http://www.ipsd.org/Subpage.aspx/Volunteer.

Volunteer of the Month Candid Photo
Granger Middle School volunteer Anu Baloo is the District 204 BMO Harris Bank Volunteer of the Month for February.

Volunteer of the Month Receives Check
Photo (l to r): Granger Middle School Assistant Principal Nicholas Hurd, Granger LMC Director Lynne White, Granger Principal Laurie Fiorenza, District 204 BMO Harris Bank Volunteer of the Month recipient Anu Baloo, BMO Harris Bank-Naperville Branch Manager Nicki McIntyre and Granger Assistant Principal Timothy Lowe.

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