I wanted to share with all of you my experience as a volunteer in one of our elementary schools, Mill Creek. I began 6 years ago with one first grade classroom and one teacher. The teacher has since changed and her replacement inherited me! This year I moved, along with that teacher, as she transitioned into second grade. My role has evolved over the years as my skill base and comfort level grew and “my” teacher got to know my strengths. This year, I am coming into her class 2–3 mornings a week and work with the kids for 3 hours each time. My belief has always been each child, regardless of whether they are a struggling learner or a high achieving learner, deserves attention. The nature of how I address each child is based on what they require. I spend 15-20 minutes per child and every encounter is different and takes on a life of it’s own. I read with them, read to them, play word games, talk about life, laugh a lot, sympathize some and ponder the world together. Each and every child I spend time with becomes precious to me. They are funny, charming, earnest (although not always honest!) and all displaying admirable qualities. I have witnessed a child who is having academic difficulties in the classroom relax and shine when he/she can slow down and spend some one on one time with me. Every child has something special about them. The opportunity to step out of the rigorous academic setting with a nurturing non judgmental adult, even for 15 minutes, yields some very surprising results.
I’m sharing my experience to perhaps tempt another volunteer to consider becoming “attached” to one classroom and one teacher and develop a yearlong relationship with one teacher and one group of students each academic year. The rewards are huge. You will become a very significant part of many young lives. They will come to love you and to treasure the time they get to spend with you. You will teach them things way beyond their curriculum and impart a lot of life wisdom. In short, you become a super hero to them. Seriously.
There are several teachers I know who would love to welcome you into their classroom.
I would enjoy the chance to answer any questions that may occur to you if you think this sounds like an appealing idea. Whether it’s one morning a week or more, you would become a valued member of a team of people dedicated to building young lives in a safe and positive environment.
Consider it!
Leslie Cheron



“I have been an RSVP Volunteer mentor for the past five years and have worked with elementary school children from four of our district schools.  I know that I have made a difference in their lives as a mentor that they can depend on me to be there for them every week and encourage their interests and success in their endeavors.  I feel that positive energy when I am greeted with big smiles or hugs.  I also appreciate the feedback from teachers about the positive influence that I have had on that student over the year.  I try to continue with the same student from one year to the next when possible and as needed, but there are times when families move away ….when that happens, I request a new student!

As an RSVP volunteer, I also participate in the Early Childhood Reading programs, including Read Across America (reading Dr. Suess books to Kindergarten classes) and utilizing activities and books from the Early Learning Coalition training to read to Pre-K classes.”

-Irene Kaufman



“RSVP has a volunteer opportunity for everyone!  Whatever your interest–there’s a spot for you.  As an RSVP volunteer, I have worked with preschoolers and elementary school children, served as a gatekeeper at the fantastic St. Augustine Holiday Bed and Breakfast Tour( returning to the same beautiful B & B every year), utilized my photo skills and video skills,  stuffed many many bags (I am a whiz now!), monitored assessment tests, attended and participated in educational conferences–just to name a few.  And since I am mathematically challenged–if you love math, there’s a slot with your name on it along with helping with taxes!  I have met some lovely people and formed friendships and find the RSVP Staff welcoming and very accommodating.  So, check us out and join our youthful, talented and vibrant community–welcome to our world! ”

-Erika Bauserman