Help wanted: School volunteers

By ROB GLIDDEN
STAFF WRITER
With a new school year underway, the Plainville school district is looking for volunteers to help students and teachers in a variety of ways.
Over the years, the school district has cultivated a relationship with numerous mentors, tutors, and classroom helpers that enhances the daily experiences of students at no additional cost to the town. Volunteer Coordinator Sue Bradley is hoping the community will show the same enthusiasm for helping the schools it has in the past.
“A teacher can’t be with every student at every second,” she said. “Sometimes someone else can make a big difference by helping someone with a project or with whatever the teacher needs.”
Classroom helpers are typically used only at the elementary schools, whereas tutors and mentors can become more important for older students in middle and high school.
One of the longtime mentors is Lynn Davis, the district’s communications specialist, who has previously served as the volunteer coordinator.
“I have been a mentor for a number of years and thoroughly enjoy the 45 minutes a week I spend with my mentee,” she said. “I look forward to our weekly meetings, and watching my mentee grow and flourish. Research shows that serving as an adult friend and role model to a student through these initiatives has a positive impact on the youth who participate, and it’s just as rewarding being the mentor – it’s a win-win for the students and their volunteer mentors.”
As the school year ends each June, the district honors these volunteers at an annual dinner alongside the hundreds more who help schools through PTOs. Bradley said that volunteering in the district did not require a huge amount of work but had the potential to make a big difference.
“It’s not a huge commitment, maybe only an hour each week,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun and those who participate love it.”
Those interested in volunteering were advised to contact Bradley by phone at (860) 793-3210 (ext. 212) or by email at bradleys@plainvilleschools.org.

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