I love helping others. I love organizing complicated events. And I love performing. For many years, I exercised these gifts in my classroom and on behalf of my school. When I decided to become a "stay-at-home mom," I shifted to using these gifts on behalf of my community.
Much of my time has been spent volunteering in KPS schools:
- In 2007-2008, I volunteered weekly in the Milwood Elementary's library, which led to me organizing and editing a video compilation of student-created book commercials for Literacy Night.
- In 2012-2013, I was a parent representative on Milwood Elementary's School Improvement Team.
- In 2013-2014, I tutored small groups of students in math in Mrs. Anna Northam's Strategic Math class at Milwood Magnet, a Center for Math, Science and Technology. I also mentored a student during the After-School Program hosted by Communities in School.
- In 2014-2016, I handled the layout and editing of the Milwood Elementary newsletter, the Panther Press, as well as writing some of the articles in it.
- In 2014-2015, as a parent volunteer, I worked with small groups of students during literacy block in Mrs. Jessica Roe's kindergarten classroom.
- In 2017-2018, I served as a Key Communicator for Milwood Elementary.
The bulk of my volunteering was spent as part of the Executive Board of Milwood Elementary's Parent-Teacher-Student Organization (MPTSO). Over six years, I served in a variety of positions:
- As Secretary (2011-13, 2014-16, 2017-2018), I introduced better ways of using technology for our communications, created many of the flyers used for our events, and drafted articles about MPTSO events for the school newsletter.
- As President (2016-2017), I organized our Back-to-School Ice Cream Social and our Santa Shop, supported the organizers of our other programs, recruited parents to help in our many programs, and participated in monthly PAC meetings.
- As Treasurer (2017-2018), I used Google docs to create a spreadsheet to track spending for each of our budget categories, reconciled our accounts on a regular basis, and provided the executive board with monthly budget reports.
Additionally, I aided in our annual fundraising efforts, including
- Leading our fundraiser kick-off assemblies (2012, 2014-2017)
- Organizing our Panther Prowl Walk-a-thon Celebrations in 2012 and 2015, which included soliciting over $1600 in prizes from area businesses and coordinating volunteers from several local organizations.
Also as part of MPTSO, I organized and promoted our Scholastic Book Fair from 2015-2017. I experimented with several different strategies to better celebrate reading:
- Recruited students to help make posters and read book commercials during morning announcements (2015-2016)
- Partnered with our art teacher, Mrs. Ruffer, for students to create artwork around our fair theme (Excelsior, Jan. 2016, p.9 - "Even Little Monsters Love to Read").
- Invited students from Loy Norrix's National Honor Society to help us decorate our fair (2016-2017)
- Used Book Fair to boost participation in the school's Literacy Month activities, including providing books as prizes for the library's March reading program and creating a Spirit Week where students could celebrate books by dressing up as favorite characters, etc.
- Participated in the All for Books donation program which resulted nearly $300 in books being donated to Milwood's library.
During my tenure as Book Fair Chairperson, our sales grew substantially (>10% per year) despite our school going through a time of declining enrollment. As a result, our teachers were able to spend several hundred dollars more on classroom books and supplies each year.
In addition to volunteering at local schools, I also brought my expertise to Milwood Community Church where I serve as Safe Church Coordinator, Sunday School Storyteller, and editor of their monthly newsletter, the Milwood Mirror.
As part of my work with Safe Church, I am responsible for
- Handling background screenings and reference checks for new volunteers.
- Holding trainings for leadership and volunteers on how to protect children from abuse and how to report any suspected cases of abuse.