Volunteering At Local Schools Enriching For Everyone Involved

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A gentleman in Iowa has gone back to school, although not in the traditional sense. He’s found his way to the local elementary school, where he volunteers doing a variety of tasks — not just a few hours a week, but every day. He’s 74 years old.

Some days he spends time one-on-one with children who need help with math. Other times he helps those struggling with reading. During his “spare” time he reorganized the school’s library. His school feels lucky to have him.

The federal infusion of “turnaround” dollars for the past three years is about to end. Less money will mean even fewer resources. It can be a vicious cycle. But it’s one that we can break — by volunteering at our schools.

Here are some things you can do:

• Help struggling students with math and reading at all grade levels.

• Answer phones in the front office.

• Help with building maintenance on an ongoing basis.

• Assist with field trips.

• Give presentations on a topic you know a lot about.

• Organize bake sales.

• Catalog, repair and shelve books in the library.

• Give music lessons.

• Chair an afternoon special-interest club.

We have the time; we have the experience. Who better than seniors to lend a helping hand at our local schools? To get started, call the school principal, the head of the PTA or the district offices.

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