Next week is National Volunteer Week, and we in the Steamboat Springs School District would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the power and impact of volunteers in our district. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'" In Steamboat, we are fortunate to have many people who can respond to that question by talking about the contributions they are making to one (or more) of our schools and the education of our students.
Many school clubs, activities, and sports depend on the support and leadership of parent, grandparent, and community volunteers. Professionals in our community regularly volunteer their time to share their experiences with classes, to mentor individual students, and to help the district plan for the future. Examples of this include community members currently serving on the advisory committees that are working on long-term infrastructure solutions and the Steamboat Chamber's Leadership Steamboat class volunteer project—funding large-scale compost machines for the district.
We continually benefit from our community’s involvement in our schools, especially the volunteers serving on School Accountability Committees (SAC) and Parent Information Committees (PIC) and the District Accountability Committee (DAC). Across the district, SACs bring community members, parents, staff, and administrators together to examine school programming and achievement and to make recommendations regarding school safety, accountability, and budget. The DAC has the same focus, but for the entire district. The work of each PIC is specific to each school community. At the high school, the PIC hosts presentations on topics related to raising teenagers and fundraises for the “After Prom” event. At the middle school, the PIC provides refreshments for parent-teacher conferences and funds a teacher wish list. At the elementary schools, the PIC sponsors an ice cream social at the beginning of the year and Teacher Appreciation Week celebrations and recognitions in the spring. These examples just scratch the surface of the PICs’ contributions to their school communities during the year.
“Thank you” to all our DAC, SAC, and PIC members for all that you do to build strong, vibrant school communities in Steamboat!
Having parent, grandparent, and community volunteers in our buildings and regularly interacting with students builds a sense of community and facilitates critical connections, which positively impact the well-being of our students. Such interactions also reinforce our whole-child approach to education, which is essential as we see an increase in the number of students who have experienced trauma in their lives.
The whole-child approach is like a big puzzle with lots of pieces. An important piece is our efforts, as a district, to understand, recognize, and respond to the effects of trauma on our students and to provide physical, psychological, and emotional safety for them in school. Another important piece is our efforts to engage caring citizens to help our students who are in crisis or at risk of being in crisis by spotting the signs and providing “first aid” while we get them the help they need.
In their numerous roles within the district, volunteers keep students engaged in their learning, nurture their interests, and connect them with the broader community. Today, we shine a light on you and thank you for everything you do for our school district!