On the morning of September 17, 2018 FCSD Superintendent Dr. Ivan Katz welcomed new and veteran volunteers to an introductory meeting of Volunteers in the Classroom (VIC) Program. In a little over two years VIC has grown steadily in its effort to build bridges between the Fallsburg community and School District. The District is comprised of 70% economically disadvantaged families. The volunteers fill an important need in providing help for students and teachers in the classroom and after-school activities.
Dr. Stephanie Phillips, Board of Education Member and creator of the VIC Program, shared the many ways participants have contributed their skills by tutoring, reading, listening, doing computer work, setting up activities, and one-to-one coaching. When she asked the volunteers to tell their own stories, the room seemed to blossom.
Andrea Hook worked three or four times a week with Kindergarten children. She and the kids got to know each other, and she was immediately engaged with their games, activities and offering them individualized attention. During the year other parents helped out as well. As Mrs. Hook says, “Just to see kids smiling and happy to see me if so gratifying.”
Sonny Smith supported Mrs. Exner’s second grade classroom. She said the children were amazing, and the teachers are amazing. “Teachers are continually going out of their way to help the kids. The children have a lot of love to give and appreciate everything,” exclaimed Mrs. Smith.
New volunteer Mrs. Alana Sherman has been a teacher all her life. She missed the classroom, and thoroughly enjoyed her few days last spring at the end of the school year. As a writer and painter, she wants to share her love of learning, knowledge and experience with children. As she says, “It’s time to give back. Education saved my life growing up.” New volunteer Ms. Carol Snow just retired from a long career in nursing. She is enthusiastic about working with smaller kids and allowing teachers to get a break during the classroom activities.
“Hearing your personal stories is special to me,” said Dr. Katz as the morning came to a close. “I am exceptionally proud of what the volunteers offer to our children.”
If you are interested in sharing in the joys of volunteering, please call Dr. Phillips at (845) 436-9857, email; email@example.com, or stop by the Superintendent’s Office to pick up an application.