If you know how to play chess, can speak fluent Arabic or enjoy endurance running, then Coe Elementary School wants to see you at its Volunteer Fair Thursday, Sept. 18.
Every year at this time, kids teachers and existing volunteers set up booths throughout the school gym and begin trolling for additional volunteers. There's booths for the math club, the foreign language club, the running club, the PTA, drama club, fundraising organizations, the Jog-a-thon event and dozens of others. There are so many organizations tied to the school and the district that could use the help of volunteers, Coe Principal David Elliott said.
"It's not just during the volunteer fair. It's a year-round thing," he said of the school's drive for volunteers.
Typical volunteers are parents of students, as was the case with last summer's massive spectacle, "The World Below," an opera performed by Coe students, written Paul Lewis and Coe parent Mark Power, with costumes, set design and other production aspects handled entirely by volunteer parents.
Joining these parents as super volunteers is Barbara Ford, who organizes foreign language clubs for not just Coe, but for John Hay, Lawton and McClure schools, too. She will also have a booth at the fair and she is always looking for volunteers to teach the classes, Elliott said.
Students in the chess club need volunteers who know how to play and who would be willing just to be there as support.
Elliott's bailiwick is running, and so he started the after school running club. He'd heard about the Seattle Kids marathon and that sounded fun. So last year he organized the running club. Kids run laps around the school building - seven laps is a mile. The club has become the means to practice for the marathon and the school's annual Jog-a-thon, which is also a fundraiser. Kids run around the school and with each lap get a popsicle stick. Every five miles they get a reward, typically a pair of plastic feet.
"We have kids who run 200 to 300 miles per school year," Elliott said. "We have kids who in a 15-munite recess run two miles." Elliott needs parents or community members who would be interested in monitoring the kids and recording their distances, a task Elliott said can be labor intensive.
The Volunteer Fair is a way for parents new to the school to get tied in and to learn of the different opportunities available. The event resembles a job fair in which each organization will have a booth. But unlike a job fair, anyone attending the volunteer fair is practically guaranteed a job.[[In-content Ad]]