Fathers are Valued Volunteers at Wilder Elementary School

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Parent volunteers are greatly appreciated at Wilder Elementary School. Among the most dedicated are two fathers who have made volunteering at Wilder a priority in their schedules.

Raymond Armentrout has been helping in his daughter Tori’s classroom since she was in first grade. Tori’s third grade teacher, Beth O’Reilly, was happy to share her appreciation of Armentrout’s support. She said, “As a third grade teacher, I am always looking to give my students the opportunity to make real world applications. To accomplish this, we have a bank and store that the students can use when we have a parent helper available. Mr. Armentrout graciously volunteers to help with this two days a week. On the days that he is here, he meets with students one-on-one to discuss their ‘financial situation.’ They talk about budgeting money, saving money and, of course, making good choices spending money. Mr. Armentrout encourages each student to save some money if the student is unsure what to purchase because it will benefit them later in the school year. When Mr. Armentrout volunteers in my classroom, he assumes the voice of a banker, calling each student by first and last name. He asks, ‘Mr. Smith, would you like to come to the bank, sir?’ His serious demeanor makes each student feel important. Mr. Armentrout is easy to work with. He is open to ideas and suggestions, always willing to do more if I ask him. He keeps track of my students' spending habits and advises me on what items I need to purchase for our store. The kids love having him in the classroom and truly enjoy meeting with him individually.”

Father volunteer Kevin Bartholomew also has a third grade daughter, Emily, at Wilder. He has served as parent representative on the Elementary Programming Administrative Committee since it was formed last school year. His participation in meetings and feedback to the district committee has been very helpful. Wilder staff and students are most appreciative of his gardening and landscaping talents. Bartholomew coordinated the efforts of a small team of parents in cleaning out the flower beds and planting new foliage to beautify the front of the school. He also serves as a committee chair for the Wilder Parent Teacher Association, and is in regular attendance at the meetings. When asked about her father, Emily shared, “My dad worked really hard to make our school flower beds pretty and that makes me feel proud.” Wilder Elementary staff truly values all their parent volunteers. The fathers highlighted here are representative of many parents who give their time and talents to make the school community special.