I walked by our butterfly garden today after the Village work time and saw that it had been almost all weeded (a mammoth job.) It had been done quietly and without fanfare simply because it needed to be done. That's the spirit of volunteerism that pervades Prairie Creek. When folks see something that needs to be done and they can do it, they do it. I can no longer count how many culminating events have ended with everyone pitching in and cleaning up the school - no one signed up, it just gets done. There have been times I've been almost falling over with exhaustion, trudging into the kitchen that I know I've left an absolute mess only to find a crew of parents drying up the last dish.
I can't tell you how much your support means to us as a school and to me personally.
This year people have volunteered to help the Herons in so many ways: book club leaders (thank you!), colonial swink creators (thank you!), level leaders (thank you!), Makers and ILEO volunteers (thank you!), typists (thank you!), lunch servers (thank you!), Raising Hands helpers (thank you!), late night bakers because "we really need it tomorrow!" (thank you!), camp out chaperones (thank you!), auction volunteers (thank you!), Wolf Ridge chaperones (thank you!), 4th Grade Week volunteers (thank you!), classroom cleaners (thank you!), conference food makers (thank you!), event supporters (thank you!), event bakers (thank you!), carnival volunteers (thank you!), Village volunteers (thank you!), Peep U professors (thank you!)
So many of you have helped in those quiet ways that I'm not even aware of - taking a child to an event who otherwise wouldn't be able to come, making a meal for a community member in need, sharing a kind word with a staff member, sorting the compost after an event, putting away chairs, putting out chairs, mopping the floor, helping a child find a book in the library even though you were really just coming in to hand in your lunch money but they saw an adult and asked for help...
And then there are the many who have volunteered with the Herons and who don't even have a child in our school. They model a community involvement that I hope the Herons will emulate. Louis, a Carleton senior who is considering going into education and has volunteered throughout the year. Pedro, a St. Olaf student who has helped out at Village for the past two years (they were both at the Village work time today!). Peg, our DARTS volunteer who is spending her retirement helping students in many schools and who brought her mother to speak to us about her experience in World War II. Patty, who comes in to read with students and always brings a smoothie to power their brains. Jacquie who "just wanted to learn more about our school" and so came in weekly to do whatever needed to be done (and was always willing to jump right in to the madness). The highschoolers from Mr. Cohrs's class who made a lasting impression in just one day. The Prairie Creek alumni who have come back to help with Sticksgiving Carnival, Family Service Night and Village.
This Wednesday is our Volunteer appreciation breakfast from 8:45 to 9:45. I hope you'll come for a bagel and a little orchestra music. There is no way, however, to adequately recognize the contribution that volunteers make to our school. Thank you.