Did any of you happen to be at Pineview Elementary on Monday night, March 4th? If so, then you saw the same “awesomeness” that I observed. Hundreds of students and parents having a great time all in the name of reading. RIFF (Reading is Family Fun) Night takes place in Reedsburg once a year, usually in conjunction with Read Across America Week. This week celebrates reading and all the fun associated with it as we honor good old Dr. Suess on his birthday.
It’s been a couple of years since I attended RIFF Night. This year I decided to help organize the South School room along with other PTO members. What a blast! It was so nice to connect with other students and parents, see all the fun activities other schools and organizations thought up and listen to students read.
What does this have to do with volunteering? Just about everything. While this night is sponsored by the district and there are countless business hours put in by our staff at Pineview and the other schools, it is the volunteers who really pull this one off. I mean, really, why leave the comfort of your house on a Monday night when it is GOING TO SNOW AGAIN?
Hundreds of kids and parents out and about all in the name of reading. Amazing! Even more amazing were the PTOs and other volunteers who helped pull this night off. A silent auction was held in the cafeteria to raise money for each school’s PTO. This was standing room only and a boatload of cash is now on it’s way to help fund great things in our grade schools.
Let’s not forget about the community volunteers who stepped up for our students as well. Bingo with police officers, face painting with high school students, making bookmarks for an orphanage in South Africa and a relay race were only a few of the wonderful activities on hand that evening. Our teachers were there as well, keeping things moving in the reading rooms and directing participants in the right direction.
There is a lot of negative press concerning education swirling around at the moment. It is too easy to remain stuck in our position of how we think schools SHOULD be run and what is wrong with students, staff and education in general. A night like RIFF Night challenges us to look at these opinions; it begs us to look at the positive. As my dad always says, “Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?” Be part of the solution – VOLUNTEER!!