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SOS to seniors
Volunteer to save our schools
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin
The object of my communication is to maybe be somewhat informative regarding volunteers in the local schools.     I have been volunteering in a local Manteca Unified School District school for a few years now and so speak with some experience and knowledge.

Being a senior citizen, I learned early on that either I could do what senior citizens often do and spend time with other senior citizens, or I could work as a volunteer in the schools and do something that would be beneficial for our students.   Needless to say the rewards, although I like to think have been great for students, have probably been greater for myself.   

Now, with the budget crunch that MUSD is facing, what better time than to contact a school in close proximity to your home and find out what you can do to help.   Class size reduction is gone.  Teachers have taken a reduction in pay and now in grades K-3 are faced with up to 33 rather than 20 students.

Many of the students entering kindergarten are still 4 years old.   Having a room full of little ones, eager to learn but extremely active, afraid of a new environment and trying to acclimate is going to be a chore.

It has been a chore with 20 but with 33 it will be far more so.

Teachers have always used their own money to purchase things for students to use that are above and beyond what the district furnishes but that they know will be beneficial for the students’ learning.  They will continue to do so, even though their pay has been decreased.

Before class size reduction was instituted, each teacher had an aide, furnished by the district.  Now, the teacher will be alone, unless he/she has a volunteer(s).  Having worked in these classes as a volunteer, I can’t imagine what it will be like now with the increase in numbers of students per class.

I would like to ask that seniors and others, parents who are not working, make themselves available to help in the public school system.  I am not asking on behalf of MUSD, I am not asking on behalf of any administrator or school, or any teacher.   I am asking myself for help for  my friends who teach.  Asking that they receive some much needed help this coming school year.   They will be doing more with less and I think it would be a great help to them and a wonderful benefit to us as individuals to get involved.   A volunteer needs no special talents, they do not have to be former teachers, etc. — just a desire to help and become involved.   The rewards are great for the student but also for the volunteer.   We are all needed and together we can continue to have a great school district, one we can all be proud of.
 Paul Anderson,
July 1, 2009