December 2018, A Time For GivingPosted by Deb Brown on 12/1/2018 5:00:00 AM
A Time For Giving
Each fall, representatives from schools in New Hampshire gather together to celebrate and acknowledge the dedication and importance of school volunteers. The breakfast is well attended and there is much talk of congratulations and thanks. Why take the time for this public display? Because, we know that volunteers help teachers feel less overwhelmed, can improve the reputation of the school in the community, and can support administrative staff. We know that students who are involved with mentors/volunteers are more likely to have higher grades, fewer behavioral struggles, and better attendance (Southwest Educational Development Study). We know that students have a more positive attitude toward school when they see their parents volunteering at the school (UCLA study, 2002). We know that mentors help students establish and reach their goals (Hart Research, 2014); students report that their mentors help them stay on track in school, help them make good choices and provide consistent support; and, nine out of ten students who were mentored
reported that they were interested in becoming a mentor themselves. There is no doubt that community members have a critical role in helping to shape the lives of young people as they make their way through school.
However, at the Partners in Education breakfast, a common sentiment heard throughout the room is not what was given, but the enormous impact that being in the school had on the
volunteer. Stories that are shared exude pride and a real sense of partnership with teachers, with students and with administration. Volunteers know that their contribution is valued, appreciated, and truly makes a difference.
During this time of giving, we in Alton would like to invite you into the school to experience the joy of being a part of a child’s life. Yes, you will be giving of your time, your efforts, and your expertise. And, hopefully, we will be giving to you a sense of value, of importance, and significance.
So, to all who have joined us in the journey of learning and to all those who are considering the opportunity, please enjoy these three minutes dedicated to the importance of volunteering: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4BwAaGFSvQ
From all of us in the Alton School District to you and yours, best wishes for a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2019.
~ Pamela Stiles, Superintendent