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Gratitude In All We Do: Thank you, Volunteers
In the season of giving, it is timely that we recognize and thank those that give to our schools. Volunteers and our Volunteer Coordinators are working around the clock as they rush to meet the ongoing needs for students and teachers. With over 200 people having committed at least one hour or more to volunteering for C-I Schools in the Fall of 2021, their dedication is inspiring and demonstrates the great needs within our schools. Our volunteers have completed teacher projects, packed free meals for families, organized school events, donated items to our Care Closet, supported adult learners, led youth recreation opportunities, and much more.
In the pandemic, social distancing was utilized as a strategy to protect loved ones and ourselves. As time has gone on, we have seen social isolation set it and it has caused ongoing stress, loneliness, and loss of critical relationships and connections needed for a vibrant life. Though we continue to be conscientious of reducing the number of visitors in the buildings, we have measures in place to ensure our students, volunteers, and staff are safe. And, we have opportunities to volunteer or donate that do not involve direct contact with students or teachers. There are also multiple opportunities for our volunteers to give - you do not need to come into the building!
As we slowly return to activities in our communities and begin to come together, we have often heard that community members are interested in finding ways to get connected. Volunteering in and for our schools is a great opportunity for all community members! As teachers, staff, students, and families are thinly stretched we have seen an increase in need for volunteers to support the critical work of the District. Every hour that a volunteer contributes to reading to youth or assisting in teacher projects is an hour that the teacher is able to re-allocate to other needs in the classroom or to give themselves a mental break. Already in 2021-2022, volunteers have donated 1,010 hours to services in our schools. We cannot say thank you enough.
Positive impacts of volunteering include:
- Can counteract the feelings of stress, anxiety and depression
- Provides an opportunity to get connected to other community members in the area
- Build relationships
- Supports critical community needs and gives purpose
Perhaps more critically, research has shown that volunteers in our school contribute to student success by being positive role models and motivators for our learners. This provides students with the opportunity to develop additional relationships with adults and their peers which can support increased social skills, reduction of absenteeism, and connection with the greater community.
In this new year, if you are looking to get connected to our schools, donate needed items, or volunteer your time, we would love to hear from you. Please consider reviewing our list of needed items and completing our online volunteer application. If you would like more information first, please visit our website. And, for all of you who have donated your time or items, again, THANK YOU for your contributions. You make a difference in our Bluejacket community.