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South Valley Journal

Parent volunteers are back at school

Aug 23, 2021 12:00PM ● By Jet Burnham

Encouraging words and uplifting pictures greeted Riverton Elementary students and teachers on the first day of school. (Photo courtesy of Katie Fuller.)

By Jet Burnham | [email protected]

Parent volunteers decorated the walks around Riverton Elementary with chalk art and encouraging messages to welcome students and teachers to the first day of school.

“We wanted to do something that would show our appreciation for our teachers and get our students excited about being back,” PTA President Katie Fuller said. Fuller said parents and former students helped with the PTA-sponsored activity.

Last year, COVID-19 safety precautions barred parents from coming into the school, and they could only send in supplies and support teachers from a distance. Parent volunteers are allowed back into the classrooms this year. They started helping out on the very first day of school, decorating the walks and also helping students find their new classrooms.

At nearly all schools in the district, teachers will once again have access to volunteers to help in their classrooms to work one-on-one with students with reading and math facts, prepare activity materials, chaperone field trips, and plan holiday parties.

“It will be great to get parents back into the buildings,” Midas Creek Principal Megan Cox said. “Teachers have a busy job and try their hardest to help all students make growth throughout the year. Parents are such a support in making this happen.”

With parent volunteers, and relaxed COVID-19 safety restrictions, schools will be able to resume family and community activities, as well.

One of the activities Cox is most excited to be able to hold at Midas Creek this year is the Fun Run fundraiser. It will be held Sept. 16, 5 pm-8 pm.

“This brings all of the community together to eat, participate in a color run, see teachers, and raise funds for our school,” Cox said. “Everyone loves this event and it's a great way to support the school.”

Riverton Elementary is also holding a Fun Run on Sept. 22.

Riverton Elementary’s PTA did not hold any fundraisers last year so Fuller is thrilled to be resuming them this year. Funds raised will be used to increase  the field trip budget and provide catered meals for teachers instead of providing potluck meals during parent teacher conferences.

When COVID-19 restrictions were loosened at the end of the school year last year, Riverton Elementary’s PTA was able to host a few community events and an abbreviated book fair, events that families had missed during the year. Fuller said parents appreciated being able to be involved at their child’s school again.

“I think it's really beneficial for parents to be involved in what's going on at the school,” Fuller said. “When they can come in and volunteer, they can see what's happening in the building.”

With help from parent volunteers, Riverton Elementary’s PTA will resume events such as Morning with Mom and Donuts with Dad, when parents are invited to spend the morning at the school with their kids.

“That's been a fun way to get parents involved and in the school,” Fuller said. “It's really great for everyone when parents are involved, and able to be part of the school team and to get to know the teachers and staff. It just builds a stronger community all around and having that stronger community helps our kids a ton.”