My wife, Mo, has a new job. She’s volunteering at our sons’ school. Granted, this isn’t new. She’s volunteered before. It started when Andrew was younger. Mo’s favorite hobby is origami (the Japanese art of paper folding). Every year, she has gone into the boys’ classes to teach basic techniques to the kids. She also spends hours crafting origami ornaments and other gifts for family and teachers. Last year, Mo signed to help with the boys’ classes. After hearing nothing from anyone for several months, she took matters into her own hands and let the teachers know of her availability. I know the boys enjoyed seeing her at school.
This year, Mo decided to go one step further. She joined the PTA to get more involved. However, she has also volunteered for a new program called Sound Reading Solutions. Sound Reading Solutions targets children in grades 3-5 that have reading difficulties, but that don’t qualify for additional services for the school. The program was founded by Bruce Howlett, a former junior high special education teacher. CostCo funds the program to bring it to schools. Volunteers are recruited at schools and taught how to work with kids to improve their reading abilities. CostCo pays for the materials and the training; it falls to the schools to sign up enough volunteers to implement it.
At my sons’ school, seven people volunteered to help. The time requirement is only one hour per child per week. Mo agreed to take two kids to start until she is accustomed to helping the program. She hopes to get used to it quickly, so that she might help more kids. Given the percentages of kids who might qualify for this program, Mo and I estimate that roughly 30 or more children are on a waiting list for this service. With seven volunteers, that’s only 14 kids receiving it if each volunteer takes two. I know that Mo will take on more once she is more familiar with what needs to be done. For now, though, she is doing what she can.
If you can help out, call your local, your PTA, or even CostCo and ask what you can do.