By DR. DENISE GUY
We have dozens of volunteers in our schools including both parents and community members. Some help out in classrooms; others assist with extra curricular activities.
In case you weren’t aware, this is National Volunteer Week, a time to celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service. Established in 1974, the goal of this special week is to focus attention on the impact and power of volunteerism and service as an integral aspect of our civic leadership.
Speaking from a school perspective, national research shows that teachers who have classroom support do their job better. It also shows that children whose parents pitch in at school have a better attitude and higher academic achievement. And, parents who participate in the classroom are better equipped to support their child’s schoolwork.
School volunteers do have a tremendous impact in our district. For example, Dan Willey has kept basketball stats for our sports teams and traveled with them all over the state for several years.
Barb Karacker and Dr. Steve Schwarting have donated their time for medical services with regards to wrestling for 25 years. Not only do these acts of kindness and caring provide a service-oriented model for our students, and others in the community, they also provide much needed services.
Although there are many volunteers in our schools, during a recent administrative meeting Jane Medina’s name repeatedly came up in our discussion. According to principal Tom Schwartz, Jane has been coming to classrooms almost every day at McKinley for about 18 years. She’s volunteered at several grade levels over the years and just recently assisted with the state assessments. Jade Koch, one of the third grade teachers she’s helping this year, had this to say, “She is so patient and truly cares about the wellness of each child she works with. She has donated so much of her time, money, and energy to make a difference in the lives of the children in our community. This is her first year working in my room, and I have loved every minute of it! She is so dependable and is here when she says she’s going to be. She is an awesome advocate for public education. We are SO lucky to have her to volunteer in our district!”
In addition, Jane has been an Art’s Council Picture Person for the last 24 years, promoting, encouraging and increasing knowledge and appreciation of the arts in Dickinson County schools. Tom Schwartz also mentioned that she has extended her work with Abilene youth by taking on the role of Big Sister in the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
There is not space to pay tribute to all of our school volunteers so I would simply like to say thanks to all of you and for all that you do.
Your efforts are noticed and appreciated by our Board of Education, by the administrative staff, by teachers and school staff, and by our children.