Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Lifelong Volunteers

It is an axiom of education that kids learn by doing. We show them how to do a math problem, but they master the concept by doing problems. In science, we talk about a chemical reaction, but any eighth grader will tell you that the lab is "way more cool" than the lecture. DOING teaches far better than "telling"

This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting a number of our school campuses during their walkabout events. This annual rite is a wonderful community event, and it requires a tremendous number of volunteer hours to make it happen. Parents spend countless hours acquiring prizes, coordinating meals, setting up and tearing down courses, helping students collect pledges, and doing the countless activities that are needed to make this event a success.

What struck me, though, wasn't the number of parent volunteers (although we know the event couldn't happen without them). I was thrilled to see so many of our alumni volunteering at the events. At each campus, I saw a substantial number of 7th and 8th graders who were back at their alma matter to lend a hand.

It was no surprise to also notice that many of those young volunteers are the children of some of our most stalwart parent volunteers. Their parents have spent countless hours, week after week, working in the schools to make our community a better place. Their children are learning that lesson from their parents- that good things need good people to make them happen. having witnessed the lessons year after year, I have no doubt that those kids will go on to be regular volunteers in their community.  Their parents have set an example through their actions, and those children are already well along the journey to understanding the importance of volunteering for good causes and putting those beliefs into action.  I commend each and every one of those kids- they are learning lessons that are in some ways more valuable than just the pure academics of school.  And their parents are pretty great too, for having started them on that journey.