You will find joy in the faces of the children you help

To the Editor:

We are writing to encourage parents and loved ones of children in the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District, or any school district really, to consider volunteering with one of the many wonderful organizations that enhance the learning opportunities our children get at school and in the community.

You will meet wonderful parents, teachers, and students, not to mention the wonderful memories you and your children will share. Among our memories are science fairs; art fairs; concerts; musicals; puppet shows; presentations by traveling artists and meteorologists; staffing the concessions for basketball games, soccer games, and dodge-ball tournaments; being timers at the finish line for track meets; and doling out chicken at chicken barbecues — just to name a few.

We have been blessed to be able to flex our schedules so we could share our time on many projects. Not everyone is so fortunate. But, if you are able to do just one activity, that will be enough. We promise you that you will find joy in the faces of the children and that is really all that matters.

You may hear that a certain organization has long meetings or there are problems with the people running the show. Please don't let that discourage you.

We can offer three points that have helped tremendously over the years:

— First, no one volunteers to head up an organization expecting to make people mad. They all stepped up because there was a need and they wanted to help. Most of the time they are just doing their best and, like every job in the world, some people are better at it than others;

— Second, lots of times these are the Type A personalities and if you are not a Type A, they can be intimidating — but they don't mean to be; and

— Last, if you focus on your project and the children, you can be successful and ignore the politics.

The parents we have worked with over the years have been wonderful and we count them as dear friends. In fact, we met because our children attended preschool together and we have been volunteering together ever since.

We know that our children will remember us, and the parents of their friends, working together to put on activities in school — some more fun than others, but always knowing that we were there for them.

My youngest will be a senior next year and Jean’s youngest will be in high school. There will soon come a time when we don't know the children in the classrooms and we will have lost touch with the teachers. That is when we will feel the need to pass the activities we love along to someone new. We hope it will be you.

Please take a moment to reflect on some things that your child has an interest in — crafts, art, music, theater, science, athletics — then find an organization that is already supporting that interest or will support you if you want to start a new activity.

At BKW, the Sports Boosters, the Parent-Teacher Association, BKW Bulldog Pride, Miss Coriellen Travis and Mrs. Lindsay Zayachek in the music departments, Miss Colleen Skiff and Miss Heidi Johnson in the art departments, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and your local Sunday school all need just a few hours of your time. We can promise you that you will not regret it.

Maureen Abbott
East Berne
Jean Forti
Knox

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