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    Celebrating Public School Volunteer Week
    Posted on 04/23/2021

    Celebrating Public School Volunteer Week

    April 19-25 is Public School Volunteer Week. Formally and informally, Seattle Public Schools families have been volunteering this school year by helping students access learning, taking care of families who needed food and rent assistance, and by standing up against racial injustices the pandemic amplified.

    Seattle Musician Zoser Dedicates a Performance to Volunteers

    Since we can't get together to thank volunteers in person, we asked one of our recent graduates to perform a song SPS volunteers could enjoy from home. Zoser is a singer/songwriter and music bender with a soulful voice, thoughtful lyrics, and a guitar. We hope you enjoy this special performance!

    “Canvas” by Zoser from Seattle Public Schools (SPSTV) Vimeo.

    Celebrating SPS Volunteers

    SPS is sharing powerful examples of family and community volunteers taking action to support SPS students during the pandemic.

    Who are the unsung heroes in your school community? Please share how families and community members in your school supported each other during this challenging year on social media with #SPSConnects and tag us @SeattlePublicSchools on Facebook and Instagram and @SeaPubSchools on Twitter.

    Family Tech Support Volunteers

    Early in the pandemic as online learning began, SPS rapidly created the Family Tech Support center to support students furthest from educational justice. In partnership with sea.citi and with the financial support from the Alliance for Education, we mobilized 140 volunteers, including SPS families, community supporters, and tech industry who collectively fielded over 2,500 calls and devoted more than 1,000 hours to getting students connected to tech. In just eight weeks, 750 SPS families received volunteer tech support for their in-home devices. This effort launched a new Digital Equity initiative at SPS and was recognized by the Seattle Times.

    Matt Jamin, Seattle World School

    In 2017, Matt Jamin and his long-time volunteer colleagues at Seattle World School started a fund to fill gaps PTSAs in other schools focus on – field trips, technology and extracurriculars. The COVID pandemic hit immigrant and refugee communities especially hard, so the Seattle World School Fund tripled its fundraising efforts to directly assist families with rent and groceries. Despite these additional efforts, Matt continued to volunteer remotely in the math classroom throughout the school year supporting middle and high school students from all over the world as they settle in their new country.

    Briana Del Rosario, Olympic Hills Elementary

    A volunteer poses for a photo with her dogThe University of Washington's Riverways Education Partnerships recruits amazing volunteers to support our Title I schools. This year, Briana Del Rosario is receiving the "Hustling Husky Award" from Olympic Hills Elementary School staff. She volunteers remotely in Mrs. Baumgarten's classroom who shared the following: "Briana's warmth, calm charisma, engaging connectedness, and ways of deepening student knowledge have made our class a better place. After spending time with our students, Briana decided she wanted to become an SPS teacher and got accepted to the Seattle Teacher Residency program!" Briana is committed to teaching through a social justice lens to actualize educational equity.

     

    Kristina Bernhardt, Olympic View Elementary

    School volunteers wave for a photo while taking bags out of a carKristina, pictured here with her children and Olympic View staff member Claudio, has been delivering school meals every day since October to food-insecure families living in a shelter for deaf and hard of hearing survivors of abuse. Kristina is a super volunteer – she has been an active member of the PTA for seven years, including as the PTA Board President, and is currently serving on the Olympic View’s Racial Equity Team. As a registered nurse, she also volunteers at the Lumen Field as a vaccinator.