Help wanted items are not our specialty in this space, but there is one important exception that we bring to your attention today, because it's a wide-open call to everyone eager for a special job with great rewards. You need no degree to qualify, other than a great degree of interest in helping the younger children of Washington's public schools. Once again, these students are looking for volunteer tutors with some time, some heart and some encouragement for them. It's called "Operation Rescue," and if the first two years are any measure, you can make a big difference--and feel good about it.

Just ask people who have done it, people who have ranged in age from 18 to 72, working or not, whether city residents or not, but willing and able to spare roughly two hours a day twice a week for 12 weeks. Last year, 963 volunteers signed up, and many of them are eager for another tour this year. And there are 50 elementary schools around the city eagerly awaiting this kind of help, beginning next month.

The children of these schools remember those who have come, people such as Mr. and Mrs. Charles Black, retired government employees who teamed up to help in reading and math at Noyes Elementary School; and Joan Millen, whose husband, Bruce, has filled in for her at Powell Elementary when she has had to be absent. At Birney school, the boys and girls remember when the Marines landed--17 uniformed men and women stationed at the Marine Barracks have volunteered at Birney since the start of the project. And this year, there are at least 19 new tutors recruited by the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity of the University of the District of Columbia, with more expected.

There are plenty of children to go around and, from what we hear, an abundant supply of satisfaction for all volunteers. Operation Rescue, coordinated by the D.C. public schools and the Washington Urban League, invites your call, to 724-4482. See you in class?