Prime Time volunteers are busy assembling “begindergarten bags” for kindergarten round-up that occurred at the Waterloo Community Schools on Friday, April 8. During these sessions, parents and their kindergartener learn about their school, meet their teacher, and become familiar with school routine.
The “Begin”dergarten bag was filled with tools like an age-appropriate book, magnetic letters, scissors, crayons, cards, glue sticks and craft activities. It is our hope that parents use the newly acquired bags to help prepare their child for kindergarten during the summer. Hopefully when the child enters kindergarten, they will ba accustomed to “learning at home.”
Donors to the project included the Waterloo Public Library, Isle of Capri Casino, and BHC Extension.
Volunteers assembled over 1,000 bags. If you would like to become involved in similar projects in the future through Prime Time volunteers, contact Julie Ehlers at 433-2026 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
History of Prime Time Volunteers
In 1991 the Waterloo Community Schools established the Golden Apple Club as an arm of the Partners In Education (PIE) program. At that time, all schools in the Waterloo Community School District were partnered with one or more area business(s). Also included in those partnerships were the interested employees in each respective business. It became apparent however, that PIE was missing a very important and large segment of our society – individuals 55 years of age and older, who are retired from the work place. This age span would have an enormous amount of expertise, life experience and possible flexibility of time. It was recognized such individuals could enhance the educational opportunities of our students.
Mary Ann Burk, former Coordinator of PIE, oversaw the establishing of a steering committee through the PIE program. This committee consisted of representation from businesses/agencies/organizations that worked with or consisted of various 55+ populations. The Golden Apple Club was governed by this committee, who met regularly to establish goals and provide opportunities for volunteer training and recognition. The Golden Apple Club’s mission was (and still is) to provide opportunities for individuals 55 years and older to assist the Waterloo Community Schools in providing educational experiences in a diverse cultural setting wherein all students are expected to learn.
Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), a member of the steering committee, also assisted in the recruitment and coordination of the Golden Apple Club volunteers. Names of volunteer recruits were channeled though RSVP, who worked with the school contacts to set up orientation meetings for the volunteers. The school contacts worked with the volunteers to established clear job descriptions and appropriate classroom placement.
Although the Golden Apple Club was open to those 55 and older, it was the exception to have a volunteer younger then 65. It is assumed the reason for this was because in the 90′s it was considered unusual to retire before 62-65 years of age. Due in part to earlier retirements, flexible working hours and employers encouragement, the Waterloo Schools is seeing more volunteers in the 55-65 age range. Collectively and possibly now more then ever, the cultures, attitudes and expectations of individuals in the 55+ age group are very diverse.
Therefore, to be more inclusive, sensitive and reflective of the age span the volunteers represent, the Golden Apple Club was renamed Prime Time in 2006. Volunteers feel they are in their prime. This diverse group of volunteers continues to be coordinated through a cooperative effort of the Waterloo Community Schools and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
What is the importance of a Prime Time Volunteer?
Prime Time members reach out to share with students their time, energy, experiences, expertise, and attention.
Volunteers provide broad experiences and individual attention to an increasingly diverse student population. Schools must serve children with special needs, children who are affected bythe changes in the structure of the American family, and children who live with drugs and violence. Now is the time to provide sufficient attention and resources to children. Volunteers can make a positive difference in a child’s educational experience.
If you would like to be a Prime Time Volunteer or for more information, please call Julie Ehlers at 433-2026 or email her at email@example.com.
“The students got so they would fight over who got to go with her (Prime Time Volunteer).” – Logan Teacher
” The last 2 years have all been memorable for me. I have enjoyed the continuted feeling of making a difference in the life of a young person.” – Prime Time Volunteer