Thursday, June 5, 2008

School Library Renamed in Honor of Volunteer

A man that dedicated his life to an area elementary school is now forever immortalized in that school’s library. A committee appointed by Board of Education president Gary Percefull approved creating the Mike Chittom Library at Celia Clinton Elementary. Chittom was chairman of the Rotary Club of Tulsa’s Adopt-A-School committee for Celia Clinton. The club adopted the school in 1993 and spent the next decade-and-a-half donating office furniture, clothes, landscaping and mentoring readers.

Chittom passed away Jan. 17 at the age of 56, the day after attending a pizza party at the school. Administrators brought in grief counselors to help students cope with his death.

“Mike was an incredible volunteer,” said Celia Clinton Principal Cindy Taylor. “He worked here for ten years, here every day.”

In 2003 Chittom spoke about his relationship with the school.

“This summer, with school out, a little girl started calling me every week to go to church with her. That church, which is a poor one, ministers to all the poor people in the neighborhood where our adopted school is located. I finally went and, much to my surprise, there were at least 10 children from our adopted school there. They all ran to me and hugged me,” he said. “…I have six sacks of love notes and letters of appreciation from children who I was lucky enough to help. There is no greater reward on this Earth that I know of.”