Lend a helping hand before the first bell rings

August 25, 2009

By Chantelle Lusebrink

Community and church volunteers paint an Apollo Elementary School portable classroom Aug. 22 during Help A Teacher Day 2009. The Aug. 22 event was one of two sponsored by Pine Lake Covenant Church. Contributed

Community and church volunteers paint an Apollo Elementary School portable classroom Aug. 22 during Help A Teacher Day 2009. The Aug. 22 event was one of two sponsored by Pine Lake Covenant Church. Contributed

Bringing an apple for teachers 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. Pine Lake Covenant Church is asking for your help.

This year, church pastors and volunteers are sponsoring Help A Teacher Day 2009 Aug. 29. Volunteers are assigned to teachers in the Issaquah School District who need help prepping their classroom.

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 about district and state 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.

“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.”School officials will direct grounds maintenance crews and teachers will lead classroom setup teams, directing volunteers 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. “Come Sept. 2, those classrooms will be hopping with students and the teachers will be off and running until next June, so it’s wonderful to have the extra helping hands and the moral support.

“I’m sure it will enable our teachers to be even more energized and focused when children return.”

Get involved

Volunteers are still needed from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Aug. 29. Register at www.plcc.org. Click on “Help A Teacher Day 2009.” Volunteers will be assigned to a school coordinator and given their assignment. Volunteers need to arrive at their school at 8:45 a.m. Aug. 29 for a team meeting before beginning work.

Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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