The right ADDition
Posted on 09/10/2021
Eleanor Fisher portrait

Every year, thousands of lives are impacted by the great work of school volunteers. From making copies and creating bulletin boards, to chaperoning field trips and assisting in classrooms to being Read 2 Succeed tutors in first and second grades, ADDitions volunteers impact students’ learning.  

In 1971, Eleanor Fisher created and directed the Orange County ADDitions school volunteer program. Eleanor's approach, which she stated in 1971, was "ADDitions may sound like an apple for the teacher, but children are at its core." While accurate, it should also be noted that all apples begin with seeds. Thankfully, Eleanor served that function. 

In her 13 years as the director Eleanor grew the ADDitions program and earned multiple awards and recognitions, including the coveted Disney Community Service Award, twice. She started with 200 regularly scheduled volunteers directly assisting teachers in 10 schools. During its first three years, ADDitions expanded to 91 schools, with a core of volunteers contributing more than 31,000 hours annually. Today, volunteers contribute more than 560,000 volunteer hours, representing nearly $13.1 million worth of in-kind contributions donated to OCPS.

Sadly, the community lost a pillar July 7, 2021. Eleanor Yothers Fisher, 99, died peacefully in her sleep, two months shy of her 100th birthday. She will be remembered fondly for her compassion and grace, as well as her pioneering contributions to education and the community.