When Jeri Neely saw an email request for volunteer help at Putnam School of Science, she eagerly responded and signed up to be the volunteer building coordinator at the elementary school.
“It is a delight to work with Putnam teachers and staff, and I will continue to help volunteers, teachers, and staff make the connections for a great year together,” said Neely, whose grandchild attends Putnam.
More than 14,500 volunteers, consisting of parents, grandparents, seniors and community members, help out in Poudre School District’s 50 schools throughout the school year. To help coordinate the hundreds of volunteers in the schools, PSD’s Partnership and Volunteer Center has volunteer building coordinators at each site who act as liaisons between school staff and volunteers. Dedicated volunteers, like Neely, donate many hours to ensure the volunteer program at their school is a success.
Since March 2012, Neely has enjoyed working as the volunteer building coordinator at Putnam, which has more than 400 volunteers. Neely says Putnam staff believe the volunteers allow them to focus more on students’ needs and they appreciate all volunteers, whether they work directly with students in the classroom or on indirect tasks. On the flip side, the volunteers also enjoy giving back to their school community.
“Volunteers have told me how meaningful it is to work with students,” said Neely. “They’ve told me how moving it is when a student has an ‘aha’ moment, and a new skill really settles in. I soundly agree with that…there is little more exciting in this world than watching a child grow.”
Tracie Roth, Putnam secretary, says Neely has become a valuable part of the Putnam community. “She took on a big job as our volunteer building coordinator and she has done it beautifully,” says Roth. “She walks down the hall and teachers say ‘Thanks for the great volunteer.’ Plus, she has taken on extra duties, like getting volunteers to run afterschool programs like chess club, robotics, and science club.”
In her spare time, Neely babysits her grandchildren and enjoys activities like gardening, cooking, knitting, reading, and volunteering as secretary for UMW District. She likes to travel and hopes to do more genealogy and photograph albums.
For more information about volunteering in schools, visit the PSD website or contact Cyndi Gile, volunteer coordinator at PSD’s Partnership and Volunteer Center, at 490-3208.