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For nearly 25 years district’s volunteers continue to play a vital role

posted Dec 3, 2018, 10:30 AM by Michael Richards
The Wells-Ogunquit C.S.D. has had its current school volunteer program in place since 1994.  During that time, several thousand community volunteers and students have worked in one or more of the District’s three schools to fill important teacher, student and overall school needs by performing various tasks ranging from mentoring a small reading group of kindergarteners, coaching junior high students to performing clerical work.  Based on need, the majority of these volunteers have worked at Wells Elementary School. 

“The WES staff are extremely grateful to our volunteers,” commented Wells Elementary School Principal April Noble.   “Having these teens and adults in our building enrich connections to the community and teach our children about service learning.”  

“We couldn't do it without their help!” commented WOCSD Superintendent James Daly.  “We are truly lucky to have such supportive community members to work with our kids.”  

For nearly 25 years, Community Resource Coordinator Maryanne Foley has coordinated the program.  Each year she instructs and places volunteers of varying ages and backgrounds into grades K through Adult Education classrooms or elsewhere.  “With the hundreds of volunteers we recruit each year, we are adding man-hour support to students and programs,” pointed out Foley who says new volunteers are always welcome.

However, new volunteers first need to register, have a quick security check and attend a one-time, 45-minute training seminar. Volunteers may then decide if they want to work daily or a few times a week and what they would like to do based on the expressed needs of school staff.  Supervised assignments could be in a classroom, computer lab, school library, office, on school grounds during an event or elsewhere.   Many help out on episodic projects or one-time yearly events such as school drama productions, the Scholastic Book Fair and Colors Day.  Volunteers also make up support groups such as the Athletic and Music Boosters.  

There are times when an elementary teacher can’t cover "all the bases" educating their students.  An example is in the kindergarten classroom of Marcia Millian where she needs to break her class into groups for individualized math and reading attention.  Millian estimates that volunteers provide about 200 combined hours each year with her students.  "I have been so lucky to have the support and help of so many parent and community volunteers in my classroom,” commented Millian. “They are an integral part of my successful academic centers, providing children with direct assistance, reinforcement of learned skills and encouragement to always do their best. I am so grateful for the continued assistance of my classroom volunteers!"

If one is interested in exploring volunteer opportunities in the Wells-Ogunquit CSD, please contact Maryanne Foley at 646-5953 extension 4204 Monday through Thursdays or send an email to her at: mfoley@wocsd.org.
Volunteer in action at Wells Elementary School
Volunteer Linda "Cork" Dobson with kindergarten students Brynn Moody and Isaac Earl.  This year is Dobson’s 14th year volunteering in Marcia Millian’s kindergarten classroom.  Another volunteer present the day this photo was taken in Millian’s classroom on October 31, 2018 was Diane Trachimowicz with her own small group of students.
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