Friday, May 13, 2016

Someone Needs You

Wherever you turn, you can find someone who needs you. Even if it is a little thing, do something for which there is no pay but the privilege of doing it. Remember, you don’t live in the world all of your own.
~Albert Schweitzer

Dear Southdale Family,

My husband, children, and I have been a part of the Southdale Elementary School community since August, 2007, when our oldest children, the twins, started kindergarten. I remember those first days, thinking how big the school was, and wondering how we'd fit into what seemed like such a large community. I quickly discovered that the way to become familiar with the building and the people, the way to make myself a part of the family, per se, was to volunteer at the school during some of my spare time.

My volunteering started off slowly: I helped if the teacher needed some copying done or served as a parent chaperone for a field trip. I signed up to monitor the halls at the Spaghetti Dinner (now called Southdale Family Fun Night) for an hour or two, or headed a shift for Kindergarten Registration. I eventually found myself volunteering in the library, coming in to help with math centers, and working multiple shifts at several book fairs, among other tasks. The more I made myself present around Southdale, the more I wanted to be there. I always left the building feeling I'd just done something fantastic for someone.

Now before you go and say to yourself, I don't have any spare time, I'd like to tell those of you who don't know me a little bit about myself. I have four children, I'm an adjunct instructor at Sinclair Community College, and I serve as Profiles Editor for the online magazine, Literary Mama. I'm also a novel writer (who has yet to be published), a runner, and a wife. I have a household to run, children to get places, and animals to take care of. Quite frankly, I don't have much spare time, either.

And I'm not the only one. I know Moms who sneak in on their lunch hours to help out and Dads who come over after their shifts at the hospital are over. Grandmas and Grandpas are sent to spend time in classrooms and aunts and uncles, too. A whole cadre of Southdale's family members is working toward making sure our children get the best education they can, and that they are exposed to as many opportunities as possible.

You see, in my mind (and probably these other folks as well), an education isn't accomplished just inside the classroom. Children learn and grow when they are exposed to sports, libraries, music, new ideas, community events, and the like. And while the faculty and staff of Southdale are doing a fabulous job of holding down the fort and making sure the day-to-day classroom experiences for our children are rewarding and enriching, they can't be held accountable for taking care of everything. We, as parents, need to be involved, too.

In short, Southdale Elementary School needs help. To take it one step farther, Southdale Elementary School needs YOUR help.

Now, just so we're clear, I'm not asking for a lot. You don't have to sign up for a year's worth of library shifts or read to kindergartners on a weekly basis. You don't have to work the entire week of the used book sale or work multiple hours at the Sock Hop or come to every meeting on the Southdale Strong schedule. Pick something you think you'd like to do, and sign up to be there. If you don't like that task, then try something else. With all of the opportunities for volunteering over at Southdale, I'm guessing you'll find at least one event to which you're drawn.

I have three years left at Southdale Elementary (which will give me a grand total of twelve!) and I'd love to see some new names and faces gracing the building. I fear that if we don't, we won't be able to build on the mission you've seen so often at the bottom of the Southdale Week at a Glance emails: to GROW ALL LEARNERS THROUGH COMMUNITY, INNOVATION, AND S.P.I.R.I.T.!

This summer, please consider what you might be able to give us come the start of the 2016-2017 academic year. Even if it is a little thing...


Chris C,
Southdale Mom and Volunteer

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Kettering City Schools or Southdale Elementary School. However, feel free to share this post if you agree with me.)