Go Back to School as a Senior Volunteer

Saturday, August 28, 2010

As Shoreline Public Schools gears up for the start of the new school year, the Power of One Senior Volunteer program is recruiting people 55 or older as school volunteers. This group of active seniors serves in a variety of roles, helping students from preschool to high school. 

Peg Kelley volunteers at Echo Lake. Photo by Martha Nichols.
Peg Kelley is a volunteer at Echo Lake elementary, the school her grandchildren attend. To many first graders, she’s “Grandma Peg,” who helps them with reading. This kind of one-on-one attention gives new readers extra confidence, while volunteers are often rewarded after months of work by witnessing this growth.

In her experiences with students, Power of One volunteer Kathy Leon said, “I feel so guilty for getting back so much more than I give. My thanks is when I've been working with a child, for a while, and that child starts steadily improving in measurable increments.... to the point where he/she no longer requires my tutoring services! Now, that's MY thanks! I think most volunteers would agree - success is its own reward!”

Volunteers share what they know—from traditional math and reading tutoring to their talents, hobbies and skills. Sue Pool is a musician who helps elementary orchestra students. You can find her tuning instruments, playing along as students learn new music and even conducting a piece or two. Orchestra instructor Vicki Ault says she appreciates the extra help and the students really enjoy having Mrs. Pool in their classroom.
Musician Sue Pool. Photo by Karen Kessinger.

As school districts and teachers are asked to do more with less, having volunteers lend a hand is a valuable resource. Perhaps you’re an avid reader. Consider sharing your passion for books by helping in an English class. Your talents as an artist can inspire young artists. Put your organizational skills to use in a classroom or library. Anyone who can give an hour of time on a regular basis is welcome.

By joining Power of One, seniors provide consistent volunteer help to students, teachers and staff in Shoreline Public Schools. They become part of the school community, showing students that education matters. Power of One Senior Volunteers must undergo a Washington State Patrol background check and an application process.

Some of the benefits of being a Power of One Volunteer: make a positive impact on students and the education system, being involved with young people helps volunteers stay active and volunteers are given school district ID badges.

To volunteer or for more information about the program, contact volunteer coordinator, Karen Kessinger, 206-365-1169, or email.

Sponsored by the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center, Power of One matches volunteers 55 years and older with schools in the Shoreline school district.

About Power of One Senior Volunteer Program

The program started in 1996 and is a partnership of the Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Senior Center and the Shoreline School District and supported by the Shoreline Public Schools Foundation. During the 2009-10 school year, a core of 53 Power of One Volunteers put in nearly 4,000 hours of time at Shoreline schools and programs.

The purpose of the Power of One Volunteer Program is to assist the Shoreline Schools to achieve excellent education for all students. We believe as caring adults we can assist all students to become successful learners.


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