As this school year comes to an end, I am reflecting back on how far we have come. Last year at this time we were in a different building. A beloved building. I will admit that I was against the move to the new building, but have changed my mind completely. I love the new space. I love the new location because I can get there from work in 8 minutes. This means I can spend more time volunteering. I can spend more time there in the morning or make it there fast if someone is sick. I am so happy with the new location and the new building. There were things that needed to be done and the parents have really stepped in and filled the need.
But from my point of view, the person that gets "Volunteer of the Year", is Mike. There is no such award, but there should be. He has spent hundreds of hours up there on weekends and evenings building lofts, a sandbox, painting, hanging art wire, hanging sheet metal for art, hanging bulletin boards, making LAN cables, building shelves, moving furniture, and constructing a shed.
We have spent so much time at the school this year that the girls feel at home there. I also think it gives them a sense of pride and ownership. They are proud of their dad and all that he has done for their school. The physical improvements to the school will last longer than my children will even be there. I am so grateful for all the wonderful parents that volunteer their time to improve the atmosphere for our kids. I am also thankful for the teachers that stay late and volunteer their time above and beyond their job descriptions. We are a community.
There has been a problem with vandalism and littering at the school. I believe that if we could get each family to volunteer one Saturday with their child, we could create ownership and a community where a student would not want to deface their building. I know my kids would never dream of defacing the property that they love and have seen their parents work so hard to improve.
Regardless of my grand dreams of getting the whole community involved, I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment for all we have done. Forget the ninety hours making the quilt...Mike has donated 5 times that over the last 8 months. He has been the driving force behind group projects getting done and he has been the lone project manager on the lofts getting built. If ever there were an award for volunteer of the year, he should certainly be in the running.
But once again, it should not be about the recognition. Mike has set an example for his girls. The work ethic and volunteer spirit he has taught them is worth more than any plaque or certificate. And they are so proud to call him their dad. They think he can do anything. And he can...