In the photo: Lake Pend Oreille School District Volunteer Coordinator Brenda Woodward, right, works with volunteer Susie Kubiak, left and first-grade teacher Nicole Dash in her classroom at Farmin-Stidwell Elementary school.
A new volunteer program titled Volunteers & Invested Parents (VIP) is the brainchild of a strategic planning team made up of school district administrators, principals, teachers and board members of the Panhandle Alliance for Education. The program is headed by Volunteer Coordinator Brenda Woodward, who is a veteran teacher in university, community college and high school programs. VIP is funded through a grant from the Equinox Foundation and the Panhandle Alliance for Education.
The addition of a professional volunteer coordinator at the Lake Pend Oreille School District not only supports our teachers during unprecedented budget cuts, but is an opportunity to educate the public about the value of volunteering to promote a healthier community. In addition to parents and parent teacher organizations (PTOs), a variety of community service organizations are invited to participate as volunteers.
The new coordinator fills several roles, including the creation of a system for recruitment, training and supervision of volunteers; communicating a public understanding of the school district needs; networking within the community; and analyzing the program’s progress. After one year, Woodward has 52 qualified volunteers assisting 48 teachers on a regular basis in eight of the 12 schools in the district.