Friday, January 15, 2016

Stories of Giving from David Sawhill

My daughter began kindergarten at Chaparral Elementary school in 2014 and is currently in first grade. During this time I have learned to appreciate Claremont Unified School District employee Shiela Olson-Pompa. Sheila works as a Noon Duty Aide, an after school Daycare Aide, and works evenings at the high school as a Custodian. Her love for the children and dedication to the school has been obvious for the year and a half I’ve known her, but a new piece of information was recently revealed to me. In October 2015 I found out that Shiela was also coordinating the Chaparral garden on a volunteer basis. She was not getting paid and spending about 3 hours a week maintaining the garden, mostly on the weekends. This effort was to help the children in the after school daycare learn about nature and gardening. It is fun to see the children come to the garden and check on their plants every morning before school begins and after school during the day care enrichment activities. The garden has 10 raised vegetables beds and 11 fruit trees. It‘s just beginning to have the necessary tools, infrastructure, and parental support to allow Shiela to thrive in the garden, rather than get overwhelmed. As a parent volunteer I’ve begun to help Shiela with anything she needs in the garden, but Shiela’s story deserves to be told. From working with children in the mornings and afternoons, as well as cleaning the campus in the evenings, Shiela’s volunteer commitment to a school garden is a fine representation of community service. David Sawhill Chaparral Elementary School - Parent Volunteer

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