We’re wrapping up the month of April, and I did not want to miss the opportunity to acknowledge this as National Volunteer Month. April is dedicated to honoring all of the volunteers in our communities, and volunteers could not be more vital than at Colorado Academy. Our parent volunteers are key to building and maintaining our school community and to helping with so many events, initiatives, friend-raisers and fundraising programs, and most importantly, they are that critical link between the school and home.
In early May, we will host our annual Parent Appreciation Breakfast where we honor all that parents do for the school. I want to express my sincere thanks to our outgoing Parent Association President Denise Kay, who steadily and quietly ran all that the PA did for the school this year, including overseeing more than 30 committees and programs, and all the while, fine-tuning the already impressive work of the Parent Association organization.
There are so many things to be happy about as a Colorado Academy educator, and the parents are certainly one of them. I don’t hear this all the time from my counterpart at other schools. In our society, schooling has too often pitted parents against professional educators. Not so at CA; we have a parent community that is focused on building community and understanding. Together we create the foundation for an amazing educational institution.
Parents, of course, volunteer in many ways beyond the organized work of the Parent Association, by working in the classroom, taking part in field trips, and supporting our performing artists and athletes. Volunteering is what keeps the humanity in an otherwise increasingly divided world. Its importance has long been recognized. In fact, Aristotle (born: 384 BCE) once said: “The essence of life is to serve others and do good.”
With the help of the Volunteer Hub, I want to share some of these remarkable statistics about volunteers in the U.S.
- The data, from a survey released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016, the most recent year available, shows that about one-quarter of Americans, or 25 percent, take the time to volunteer.
- Volunteers are worth on average $24.14 an hour, according to an Independent Sector Study, and volunteerism in the U.S. has a value of over $184 billion dollars.
- Volunteerism improves health, say medical studies, by strengthening the body, improving mood, and lessening stress in participants.
- Volunteers, on average, spend 50 hours per year donating their time to the greater good.
I am so proud to be part of an organization in which our parents and alumni give their time, treasure, and talent to make a difference in the lives of our students. As a community, we are committed to serving students and providing them an opportunity for a transformational education. Thanks for all that you do.