Volunteers come out at night to help Cedar Grove students

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Salute during National Volunteer Week

By Stephen Thomas

    CEDAR GROVE - Schools throughout Bullitt County appreciate the many volunteers offering continued services, especially during National Volunteer Week.

    Volunteering time to assist with a child’s education is often difficult when parents work during school hours.

    A program at Cedar Grove Elementary found a solution, one that has greatly increased parent volunteer hours: Volunteer coordinator Kym Jones hosts volunteer nights at the school.

    According to Jones, a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday is designated each month as an evening for parents to offer their services.

    “It’s nice and I love doing it at night, it helps to focus,” said Jones. “A lot of parents can’t always volunteer in the daytime.”

    Prior to each event, Jones distributes announcements in students’ take-home folders.

    Jones also collects work orders from each teacher. The teachers let Jones know what sort of assistance was beneficial for current lessons.

    “They send extra work in their mailboxes and we work on it,” Jones said.

    Cedar Grove parent Kelly Puckett said she tries to attend each monthly evening event.

    “I’m like most moms today, I have to work,” she said. “I look forward to going and I’m glad they do it.”

    Puckett’s son, Lane, attends first grade in Ms. Nickie Spencer’s class. During the events Puckett can complete volunteer work specifically designated for Lane’s classroom.

    “Then I really feel like I’m helping my son,” said Puckett. “I feel like I’m really doing my part.”

    Jones said snacks and drinks are provided during each event, often times donated by the teachers. Puckett enjoyed the fun, friendly atmosphere each event entailed.

    “I love it, I really enjoy it,” she said. “I’m proud to be a part of it all.”

    Cedar Grove primary teacher Penny Terry said teachers knew when each volunteer event was scheduled.

    “We can get our materials to the volunteers and they will have all our work done for us,” said Terry. “There are projects I would not even attempt on my own due to the preparation involved, but knowing that it will be done for me allows me to go ahead with the activity.”

    Terry credited Jones for establishing a quality program that maximized volunteer resources, along with being a role model for other parent volunteers.

    “Kym has four children. Her husband served in Iraq. Yet she still volunteers,” said Terry. “She must be doing something right because Cedar Grove had the most volunteer hours out of every single school in Bullitt County.”

    Jones said as many as 25 parents have attended an evening volunteer event. She said students often join in and assist.

    “They love to help,” said Jones. “Plus the gym is open to the children of the volunteers.”

    Terry praised Jones and all Cedar Grove volunteers, saying students were smarter thanks to the extra assistance.

    “I love the volunteers at our school and I want to say thank you,” Terry said.

    “Kym is wonderful,” said Puckett. “She does a lot and her kids help. She seems very dedicated to the school and she has the teachers spoiled rotten.”