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Make Time to Volunteer with Your Student's School

Programs rely on parents, family members to keep activites rolling

After students hop on the bus to begin their days, parents have a number of ways to continue helping them learn. At every school in the district, family members who volunteer their time keep things humming through a variety of programs and organizations.

At , volunteers with Franklin for Our Planet, a subcommittee of its Parent-Teacher Organization, plan “earth-friendly” activities to raise students’ awareness of ways to help the environment.

During the Scholastic Book Fair, from Sept. 23 to Sept. 30, an empty classroom at becomes a hub of activity, said Walls PTO President Sherry Tessman.

"We have volunteers needed for setup, as well as packing up (books). It’s a huge undertaking, and having people come in during the evening to put it away would be a help, too," she said.

Help often also is needed during evenings for parents whose daily calendars leave little time available during the day to volunteer. Three out of the five officers of the PTO at Walls Elementary work during the day, Tessman said.

"It can stem from something as simple as having people make phone calls to get other parents to volunteer. We have fundraisers, dances, field days and Teacher Appreciation Day where we have people bake cupcakes. Something as simple as that can be a big help," she said.

Guidance Secretary Darlene Baird said parents and family members are always welcome to volunteer both inside and outside the classroom at , such as with a running club led by physical education teacher Shawn Bates.

The Longcoy Schools Association coordinates events and activities throughout the school year, said L.S.A. President Gail Neubert.

"Some events are sponsored by L.S.A., some by student council, some by the school itself, so the best bet is to call the school secretary to see how to get involved," Neubert said.

At , in addition to the school PTO, there is the Preschool Parent Organization led by PPO President Holly Schweitzer. For more information about volunteering with activities at the preschool, email daveyppo@gmail.com.

Kevin Howard, a 1986 alumnus of , has volunteered for more than 11 years with the school district in various venues. With two of his children having graduated from Kent schools and four still students he now helps out with high school athletics.

"The traditions of the school system helped me as a kid," Howard said. "It’s been a tradition of Coach John Nemec to have his former players come back and help the kids. He was my coach when I was a football player here from 1983 to 1985, and now my son, in his fourth year, is also a football player here."

To learn more about volunteering with sports activities and events at the high school, contact Athletic Director Ernie Rutzky or Matt Hunkele, assistant athletic director, at 330-676-8770.

For more information on volunteering, talk with your student’s classroom teacher or visit the ‘Parents’ tab on each school’s page on the Kent City School District website.

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