Give teachers a helping hand before school starts

August 21, 2009

By Chantelle Lusebrink

NEW — 4 p.m. Aug. 21, 2009

Bringing an apple for the teacher may be an excellent idea the first day, but how about helping them get their classrooms ready?

Some teachers, especially those recently hired, spend long hours putting their classrooms together, which is why Pine Lake Covenant Church is asking for your help.

This year, church pastors and volunteers are sponsoring Help A Teacher Day 2009 for the next two Saturdays. Volunteers are assigned to teachers in the Issaquah School District who need help prepping their classrooms.

Volunteer teams will work at Apollo, Challenger, Cougar Ridge, Grand Ridge, Issaquah Valley and Sunset elementary schools and in special-education classrooms at Tiger Mountain Community and Skyline high schools.

“The idea came in response to all the budget-cut news wires they were sending out to keep the community informed,” Beth Yeager, community mission pastor for the church, said regarding the district and state’s communications. “Knowing teachers face challenges in the year coming up, with increased class sizes and reductions in resources, this is a way to come alongside teachers.”

Volunteers are still needed for the event from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Aug. 29.

Volunteers need to register at the church’s Web site. Once registered, they are assigned to a school coordinator and given their school assignment. Volunteers need to arrive at their school at 8:45 a.m. for a team meeting before beginning work that day.

School officials will direct grounds maintenance crews and teachers will lead the classroom setup teams, directing them to complete specific tasks, like unpacking boxes, setting up bulletin boards and preparing supplies.

“We are so pleased to have the community helping our teachers as they prepare for the new school year,” Sara Niegowski, district communications director, wrote in an e-mail.

“We want to support them and to let them know the community is grateful for their teaching and let them know we are behind and support them,” Yeager said.

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