SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

November 29, 2013

Column: Salem schools could use an extra hand

What if you could make a difference in the life of a child and you could do it with a time commitment that fit your schedule? What if you could brighten someone’s day and it wouldn’t cost you a penny? And what if doing those things brought you feelings of accomplishment, success and pleasure? It wouldn’t be called impossible, it would be called volunteerism.

The Salem public schools have initiated new efforts to increase volunteerism in the schools. The Community Volunteer Program is actively enlisting the help of neighbors and businesses to contribute to the success of Salem’s students. Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes, all ages and abilities, all levels of education and experience, and with all measures of commitment. The only requirement is a willingness to help.

Volunteers are an extremely important resource for our schools. You don’t have to be able to do “new math” or recite important dates in history in order to help. There are hundreds of different ways to be of valuable service. Volunteers provide one-on-one support to students, assist with office tasks, build raised beds for school gardens and help to shelve books into their proper places. Volunteers work one, two or more hours per week, or work on one-time projects. If you have an interest in giving your time, any amount of time, to benefit education, there is a student or a teacher or a school that would love to meet you.

Prospective volunteers should contact me at 781-584-2146 or email volunteer@salemk12.org. New volunteers will be asked to complete a volunteer application form. This form provides Salem public schools with important information regarding contact numbers, interests and availability. A routine check of criminal records (CORI) will be conducted on all applicants. The next step is to schedule a meeting with the volunteer coordinator to discuss possible volunteer placements. The Community Volunteer Program works diligently to match volunteers with opportunities that maximize the benefits to the schools, while providing a positive experience for the volunteer.

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