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Volunteers lauded at West Madison

Fulfilling annual tradition, teachers turned the tables and treated students’ families during Parent Volunteer Appreciation Day at West Madison Elementary School.

Parent Volunteer Appreciation Day coincided with Field Day at West Madison.

“This year was West Madison’s first time to host a picnic for our volunteers,” Joann Taylor said. Taylor served as courtesy committee chairperson and works as resource teacher at West Madison.

With the picnic, the teachers said, “Thank you,” to parent volunteers for giving up their time to assist in helping students succeed, Taylor said.

Timing was perfect. The appreciation day coincided with Field Day at West Madison and was held in afternoon hours to better accommodate parents’ schedules and allow them to view the field activities.

The faculty pitched tents on the patio and treated parents to barbecue, along with deviled eggs, watermelon salad, soft drinks and desserts. Smokey’s supplied barbecue at a discount.

“We wanted parents to come and have a relaxed lunch while Field Day was going on,” enrichment specialist Wendy Tibbs said. “We had a bunch of parents come through our event. We were thrilled.”

Each teacher at West Madison prepared a dish of food or brought beverages and paper goods. “The chores were divided up among grade levels. The courtesy committee designates teachers to sponsor each event during the school year,” Taylor said. A different chairperson coordinates the event each year.

While most volunteers are students’ parents, local businesses, like Target and Kohl’s, donated funds and employees’ time for events like Earth Day and Read Across America.

During a typical week at school, teachers need classroom help in numerous ways, such as assisting with reading groups, staging events for study in history, chaperoning for field trips and assisting with ‘crowd control’ in the cafeteria, Taylor said. Volunteers also assist the teachers with photocopying.

“The parents at West Madison are always there for our teachers and students,” Taylor said.

Each year, West Madison PTA donates $100 for supplies in each classroom. Teachers appreciate that gesture, especially “since we have been in proration the last few years,” Taylor said.

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