It’s National Volunteer Week, and we are celebrating the more than 3,500 volunteers who serve across our schools each year. Whether chaperoning a field trip or providing weekly classroom support, volunteers bring their hearts into our schools. Take it from Sue Webber, a volunteer at Alderwood Elementary School. We interviewed Sue this winter for our Humans of BPS series and she talked about her experiences as a school volunteer.
“This is my fifth year volunteering at Alderwood. This is our neighboring school and I started coming in here and absolutely fell in love — it is the most amazing place.
I work in the classrooms in kindergarten and first grade volunteering, doing whatever the teachers want me to do. I help sometimes with other volunteers, sometimes in the cafeteria and sometimes at recess.
It’s just really fun to be involved. The teachers are phenomenal. I call it my ‘heart place’. I walk in the door and it just feels like this is where I feel my heart is full.
Where else do you walk in and you’re met with smiles and hugs from kids and everybody just says ‘thank you’? It’s the ideal job.
My career was teaching Biology at the community college. And then my husband and I ran a boat called the Snow Goose, which does a marine biology program with 6th graders. Both of us were really clear we wanted to get out of the classroom, and experiential learning was what we believed in. So, we started the boat program and then when we handed that off, somehow Alderwood just opened its doors and I ended up here.
I came to Bellingham in ’76. So, that’s a long time ago — what’s that, 45 years? I grew up on the east coast, outside of Philadelphia. It was that time in the world when you could get those ‘drive away’ cars — people would pay you to drive their car from one side of the country to the other. I did that, landed in Bellingham and never left. It was just where I was meant to be.
I’m looking forward to the third generation of kids in my family being in this district. The One Schoolhouse has changed everything and makes every school and every kid really feel a part of something bigger. And I think that it’s phenomenal.”
Thank you to Sue and all of our BPS volunteers! We can’t wait to see you again!