On May 6, 100 volunteers were invited to the school’s annual Volunteer Tea, where staff and teachers recognized those who step forward to help all year long. Not all could make it to the afternoon get-together in the school cafeteria, but all were appreciated nevertheless.
Jennifer Benjamin-Yacoub, Las Palmas principal, said the school and volunteers are partners in the children’s education.
“A lot of the volunteers are parents, but we also have people from the community who help us,” Benjamin-Yacoub said. “It’s a reciprocal value — when you serve the community, the people serving are also recipients of great benefits.
“They feel good about themselves — they’re giving back to their schools and to the future of the community. The kids here are the future of the community.”
Kent Pedersen, pastor of New Hope Church, agrees.
“The bottom line is No. 1, my kids are in the school and the more parent involvement the better,” Pedersen said. “I believe education starts in the home — I have to stay involved in their education.
“The second thing is as a pastor role … our church adopted Las Palmas this past year. We want to be a part of adding value to the community. We’re in it together.”
Julie Davis, whose son Logan is a second-grader at the school, helps whenever she can, including working on fundraisers and going on field trips, all for the children.
“It’s the kids — you get to see the kids and you get to see the teachers teach,” Davis said. “I get to see the kids interacting with other kids — I like to see him (Logan) with his friends.”
Geri McMillan volunteers because of her grandchildren, Joey and Jonathan Robles, ages 10 and 7, respectively.
“Whenever Jennifer asks, ‘Can you do this?’ I say, ‘I’ll try,’” McMillan said. “Anything they ask … grandma tries to do.”
• Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.