News from Dr. Cruz: The Value of Volunteers
Austin is a community that cares about public schools. As I visit schools and attend events throughout the city, I’m impressed by the many ways the members of our community give their time to support our students and staff.
Some serve on boards and committees. Others work as tutors or mentors for individual students. Volunteer activities range from being a PTA leader to simply working in a booth at the fall carnival. Whatever their contributions, large or small, volunteers make us better.
Volunteers help bridge the gap when funding is scarce, and we must to do more with less. There are so many needs, and it takes many big hearts to fill these needs.
On a chilly fall morning last week, some 300 volunteers gathered at Blackshear Elementary to haul dirt, paint doors and install a track as part of a school grounds improvement project valued at tens of thousands of dollars. Without the work of these dedicated individuals, the project would likely have taken months to complete.
Also, Austin Partners in Education, or APIE, celebrated the tenth anniversary of a partnership with the district last week. This partnership has brought thousands of volunteer tutors and mentors to classrooms across the district. APIE is one of many such organizations that supports our students and keeps our schools and district strong.
These are just two of many examples of how volunteers show their support for our schools. As we approach Thanksgiving, I hope all of our volunteers will know how much we thank and appreciate them for all they do.
Paul Cruz, Ph.D.