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Thank You Bluejacket Volunteers!

We have often said, strong communities have strong schools, and one sign of a strong community is active community service. As we conclude National Volunteer Month and reflect on the importance of service, we want to thank the 800+ volunteers who actively share their time and talents with our schools and our children this year. When volunteers come into our schools, it tells our students that their community cares about them and supports them. And for volunteers, there are rewards as well.

Earlier this year, Grandma Judy, who is a weekly volunteer in our Early Childhood classes, celebrated her 80th Birthday—with song, cake and hugs—surrounded by dozens of her little friends. Grandma Judy would tell you that being around children keeps us young. They make her smile and laugh every day she is there.

Volunteering is not just about giving back, it is about creating a positive impact on the world around us. It is a powerful way to connect with others, learn new skills, and gain a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Our students benefit, and our volunteers benefit as well. Our CIHS Mock Trial coaches are attorneys in their day jobs and mentor high school students who may follow in their footsteps after college. As professionals, they are making a difference for students and for the future of their profession. And the team’s winning record provides an intrinsic reward for a job well done.

Volunteers play a crucial role in the success of so many of our programs. From organizing events to coaching youth sports to caring for our parks and other public spaces and fundraising for important causes—our community is stronger because of the people who give so generously of their time. 

Volunteering can also improve mental health and well-being. Studies have shown that volunteering can reduce stress, combat depression and anxiety, and increase overall life satisfaction. Volunteering builds social connections and a sense of belonging within communities.

If you are new to our community, volunteering is a great way to get involved. We recently had a new family move into Isanti from Tennessee. On day one, they attended a PTO meeting and have been a constant presence at both Isanti Primary and Isanti Intermediate School ever since. In another example, a kindergarten and PTO parent saw a need and asked questions. Now, she is the Box Tops coordinator for her school. She took something and made it her own special way to contribute. 

For young people, volunteering can allow students to explore new interests, gain real-world experience, and build their resumes for future employment. Last weekend, dozens of students volunteered to support the Bluejacket Education Foundation Future Fest. More than 200 people turned out for the event. Our culinary students volunteered in the kitchen, Link Crew members served the food, our Jazz Band performed, and students created art for the silent auction. Other student volunteers included Model UN, NHS, FCCLA, pro start, tech crew, and Link Crew students. The students worked hard — and had fun! The energy in the room was inspiring with so many people there to support our kids! 

Volunteers in our schools are also greatly appreciated by the staff! No project is too big or small for our amazing volunteers. Whether it be taking home projects to work on, helping in the Critter Cafe at Cambridge Primary, volunteering at events, or being a classroom helper, if you want to get involved, our volunteer coordinators can find you a match!

Events like our Reading Island at CPS during I LOVE to Read Month were a success because a handful of volunteers worked together to create a fun, learning “getaway” for the students by transforming the multi-purpose room into a tropical reading island with literacy stations all around.

Grandparents are always welcome volunteers, and we appreciate our partnerships with the Central MN Foster Grandparent Program. At Isanti Primary, Grandpa Jim and at Cambridge Primary, Grandma Jody provide extra help and guidance for children. Students LOVE to work with them because they make the students feel special, and teachers appreciate their kind hearts and warm smiles. I wonder if they realize the impact they have on these students' lives. 

Every week, you can walk through the halls at our schools and see the impact of volunteers. Staff members and students are so appreciative.  

And we have three amazing volunteer coordinators who make these connections work: Amy Huntley, Angela Lindell, and Nicki Hasser. If you’d like to connect, please visit c-ischools.org/volunteer.

“It warms my heart working with such amazing community members,” Volunteer Coordinator Amy Huntley says. “They devote so many hours and kindness to our students and staff.  Volunteers, please know how much you are appreciated by SO many!!”

Whether a one-time activity, an at-home project, a seasonal group, or a weekly routine, our schools benefit from every generous gift of time. We could not do all we do without our volunteers! Thank you.

Volunteering is not just about giving back to our communities, it is about creating a positive community and benefiting ourselves in the process. Consider volunteering your time and talents to a cause that you care about. Whether you have a few hours or a few days to spare, your contribution can make a difference. Thank you for all that you do to support our kids, our school and our communities.


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