GRANDPARENT VOLUNTEERS SHARE WISDOM, BRING LOVING SPIRIT TO ALL SAINTS IN LAKEVILLE
When Lynette Cargill retired four years ago, she wanted to remain active. So, she asked Carol Margarit, principal of All Saints Catholic School in Lakeville, if she needed a volunteer.
“She had me come in that day,” Cargill recalled.
As a former school librarian, Cargill knows the amount of time and energy teachers spend on preparing lessons and keeping records. She wanted to offer teachers the opportunity to spend more time in the classroom with their students. So, she volunteered to lighten the load by photocopying, assembling packets and creating bulletin boards for All Saints’ teachers.
“Because of grandparent volunteers, we are able to offer more one-on-one time with students,” said Sue Falvey, a fifth grade teacher at All Saints.
Over the years, Cargill, who has three grandchildren at All Saints, has volunteered in various capacities. This year, she teaches knitting to sixth graders during study hall.
According to Falvey, grandparent volunteers become “part of their grandchildren’s lives in a very meaningful way.”
Currently, six senior citizens volunteer at All Saints. Half are current or former grandparents of students.
Whether or not the volunteers have grandchildren in the school, all of them “love sharing the gifts God gave them with others,” Margarit said.
“Because of grandparent volunteers, we are able to offer more one-on-one time with students.”
Cynthia Jackson, who began serving at All Saints five years ago, said she’s grateful for the opportunity to bring “life experience” to her role as a volunteer.
“As a parent, grandparent and elementary teacher, I have been richly blessed by the presence of many children in my life,” Jackson said. “Playing an active role has allowed me to experience life deeply, fulfilling my God-given vocation.”
While she has volunteered in a variety of areas, most recently Jackson created an after school STEM club (science, technology, engineering and math) for fourth and fifth grade students.
“Ms. Jackson has a passion for teaching science,” Falvey said. “Because STEM is held in my classroom, I am able to see the fabulous activities in which the students participate.”
The grandparent volunteer program, aka Mission Partners, is open to any grandparent or older adult who wants to share knowledge, expertise and love with the children of All Saints.
“Opening our school to grandparents changes the culture in our school,” Falvey said. “We are blessed to have their skills, wisdom and loving spirit in our school.”