So you're retired now and would like to do something altruistic with the extra time on your hands. Perhaps you just like helping out at your child's school when you can. Or maybe you are a high school or college student in need of volunteer hours to help land that scholarship.
The Pasco County School District wants you.
"We're in need of volunteers this year, particularly because of the budget situation," said Tom Imerson, supervisor of volunteer services for Pasco schools.
Opportunities abound for all ages, Imerson said, adding that this year there will be a big push for an increase in schools qualifying for the Five Star and Golden and Silver School Awards that track and acknowledge student, parent and community participation.
Volunteers are needed to work with students in the classroom, the cafeteria, the school office and on school field trips, as well as to serve on school advisory councils and parent/teacher organizations.
Some other opportunities:
Net Work: While some volunteer labor will be calculated in hours, other helpers will be able to turn that work into cash for school programs they want to support.
Net Work is the reinvention of a previous food services program called School Meals/School Deals. Approved volunteers work as substitutes for regular employees in school cafeterias, then earmark the money they would traditionally earn as paid substitutes to support school organizations or fundraising efforts at the school of their choice.
To join the Net Work program, call the Food and Nutrition Department at (727) 774-2439, (813) 794-2439 or (352) 524-2439 for an application.
RSVP: The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program provides meaningful opportunities for people 55 years and up to participate in the schools and the greater community through volunteer service.
For information on RSVP, call the school district at (727) 774-2207; (813) 794-2207; or (352) 524-2207.
Take Stock in Children: This program aims to help decrease Florida's dropout and teen crime rates. Those selected for this program are promised long-term support and the opportunity to receive up to a four-year college education if they successfully meet the academic and social requirements.
The recipients are chosen based on their self-motivation, determination and desire to be a value to society. They are economically disadvantaged and may have other "at-risk" factors. Some have physical disabilities. The long-term support promised to these scholars includes being assigned to an adult mentor.
Volunteers mentor a middle or high school student at the school once a week. For information, call program coordinator Rosanne Heyser at (727) 774-2134, (813) 794-2134 or (352) 524-2134, or e-mail email@example.com.
Big Brothers Big Sisters: This program provides an opportunity for adults and high school students to make a difference in the lives of elementary students. Volunteers in this school-based program meet with a child for one hour weekly to help with homework, play games, make crafts — whatever the volunteer and child enjoy doing together. To get started, call (727) 372-1458, ext. 208.