I was reading the Fall 2011 Resolve newsletter and came across Lynn Taylor’s article about “The Power of Your Story”.
I would like to speak to the return on investment that our community has received as a result of one former infertility patient turned community volunteer extraordinaire: my wife, Lisa.
Her passion for pursuing the spirit of our baby for six years, has turned into a passion for providing the best education for our now almost 9 year-old-daughter by volunteering and supporting the teachers and administrative staff of the school she attends.
Lisa volunteers to help kids with their reading, helps coordinate support for every grade (even the ones our daughter is not in), and takes on leadership roles whenever a need arises.
When I ask her why she does it, the answer comes easily: “I’m living my dream.”
And Lisa’s ‘living her dream’ attitude keeps the school from having to add teaching assistants to the budget, or forego special events for lack of budget for support staff, or see a child fall through the cracks simply because he/she needs a little extra help that the growing class sizes in public and private education in this country don’t allow for.
So how does this contribute to the community?
Working parents can track the performance of their children in school if a volunteer assistant grades papers that might otherwise get backlogged.
Kids can enjoy special events and parties that reward them for their hard work so they are motivated, refreshed and excited about school since there is a person organizing and motivating volunteer help for these events.
The child that needs the extra help gets it, and the parents of that child don’t end up spending money on tutors when all the child likely needs a little more time to understand a concept.
These children perform better on tests, retain the material they are taught longer, and tend to participate more in school.
Seeing their children excel, more parents become involved in the school, the volunteer base grows, and the need to budget for basic needs is replaced by the ability to expand education offerings into things like arts, music, creative writing—things that allow kids to develop their unique voice and cultivate individuality, while they continue to learn the basic educational concepts they need to live a productive life.
A tax credit that enables more super aspiring moms to become super moms like my wife Lisa, is a win win for everyone, in any community, for any constituency.
Hopefully the legislative powers that be will get their Act together, and support the Family Act 2011.