Share your story!
Parent Volunteers: Contact us with a short paragraph about your volunteer work for school and why you do it. Tell us what your volunteer work is, how you got involved, and what you have gained from your volunteer work!
Stories from our parents!
Beth Fotos: I first started volunteering at Belle Aire 15 years ago when my first child started kindergarten. I was the head room parent and helped in the classroom on a regular basis since we had 29 kids! I did various small jobs until I got heavily involved when that child was in second grade. Over the years I have been involved with teacher appreciation week, fundraising, market day, variety show, holiday store, hot lunch, book fair, welcome breakfast, sixth grade events, earth week, assemblies, baking committee, art awareness and calling tree (hilarious!)Chair positions have been vp of fundraising, garden club, sixth grade events, teacher appreciation luncheon and family fun day. Currently I am chair for theater trips, brick walkway, fit dogs and sixth grade events. Over the years I have met so many people and have made great friends and connections. Sometimes it can feel like a bit much but every time I get involved I learn something new and get to know the kids so well. So many fantastic memories and really awesome to see how things have changed and evolved over the years!
Dana Cox: I joined Belle Aire PTA last year as chairperson for Teacher Appreciation Week. As a new family to Belle Aire at that time, our oldest was in Kindergarten, I wanted to get involved and see what the BA community was all about. I definitely learned a lot and was able to connect and meet new families. This year, I had more of an opportunity to meet more families as I accepted the Membership Director position, as an executive board member. Aside with Membership this year, I have also volunteered with Registration Day, Breakfast with Books, Bulldog Shuffle, the Variety Show, the annual Book Fair. I have had the pleasure of working with so many knowledgeable and talented parents, who genuinely care and want to make a difference. Most importantly, I volunteer so my children see I have a vested interest in their success at school and hope they make the same choices to help out in their future.
Beth Green: It’s likely you’ll hear me say “well, if no one else will do it, you can put my name down.” I started out co-leading to learn about PTA, meet people, and ease into giving back to school. Let’s be real, I had no idea what PTA was when we started kindergarten and wished there was a manual for how to be a parent of a school age kid! I started wtih DirectorySpot administration, book fair, baking committee and hot lunch. I like the variety of opportunities. I took on president-elect, then president. Special projects like the new website, email communications and improvements to help our volunteers processes were very fulfilling. Working with a mix of stay-home, part time and full time working parents on the executive committee has sparked creativity for meeting the needs of our families. I look forward to years ahead doing different things for Belle Aire and will probably come around to the executive committee again in a couple years when my little one starts going to Belle Aire.
Terese Prena: Being a teacher in a middle school, I’ve seen parents who were begging to come into the classroom to volunteer and parents that couldn’t because they worked. Having volunteers in the classroom was a great help to me as well as my students. When I had my daughter, I knew I wanted to be involved. During her first year in preschool, I joined the parents’ association; and after one year, I was co-president. We worked on fundraisers to raise money for extras within the classrooms. I participated in the bake sales. As the room liaison, I helped coordinate classroom parties as well as gifts for the teachers. My daughter’s face lit up every time she saw me in the building helping out. I continue to volunteer my time at Belle Aire. I am the secretary of the PTA. I also come into the classroom from time to time and read. I help coordinate parties. Again, my daughter’s face lights up. I don’t just do it for her, though. I get to meet other parents. I get to make new friends. I also get a chance to know the students in my daughter’s class better. It makes me feel like I am back in the classroom teaching. Volunteering brings smiles to others and that makes me happy.
Coco O’Shaughnessy: Last year, during my son’s second year at Belle Aire is when I became more involved with the PTA. His first year was my first year of having a child in school and everything was new and a blur! I wanted to be involved but other than helping in the classroom, I wasn’t sure of how to get more involved – so the year past. Truth be told, I might have been a little put off because I kept seeing, hearing, reading the same parents names who were volunteers in some capacity at school. Early on last year, after I got to know some of the other parents and attended my first PTA meeting I began to understand just how much the PTA volunteers do for the school! And also discovered the reason I kept seeing the same parents names was because more hands were needed! I started volunteering more and reaching out more to Moms I knew that were involved at school. Since then, our family has built great relationships with other families, students and school staff. I feel more connected to my kids since I am more familiar with what is happening in school and the kids see the parent friendships and connections so they know there are lots of people looking out (keeping an eye on!) for them. I have been involved in the classroom as a room parent and with Art Awareness, helping with the Breakfast with Books event, the yard and landscaping, volunteering in the LRC and am finishing up on the executive committee as VP of Committees. One thing I have witnessed first hand at our PTA is that everyone is welcome. We truly have a great community of families and staff at Belle Aire that are genuinely welcoming which is great for parents who want to and can be more involved and also benefits all of our kids. It truly takes a village and I am glad that Belle Aire is ours.