Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Jog-a-thon volunteer

Wow, parental involvement in your child's elementary school has changed dramatically over the years. With dwindling tax revenue, school districts are strapped for cash and now rely heavily on parents for assistance, both to donate cash, and volunteer time. So with some extra time this year I decided to throw my name into the volunteer pool at Brenna's elementary school. I would make myself available both in the classroom and to assist in various school activities.

The annual Jog-a-thon was my first assignment. My initial thoughts were that this would be a piece of cake. Kids would run around a track for twenty minutes, count their own laps...end of story. A few days prior to the event, however, I received a volunteer instruction notice from the event organizer (our school's PTC treasurer) detailing the general time lines, the important rules and the various job titles with description of duties. My previous life in corporate America had never been this organized!

My first impulse after reading the "Jog-a-thon 2008 Volunteer Instructions" was to step aside, fake an illness or just admit that I was not worthy of such a marvelously constructed fundraiser created by the PTC, administered by parent volunteers, and participated in by sweating K thru 6 graders for the benefit of our school. Well the truth be told, I did not understand the instructions. My wife Amy suggested that I just go and everything would be much clearer once I arrived at the "main volunteer check-in station."

Of course rules and procedures were explained to me upon my arrival that morning and I was assigned the job of "Tally Marker" which initially didn't sound too appealing. But I then quickly realized that I was responsible for marking up the tally cards as the kiddos ran each lap which actually was the most important job of all! The students took pride in the number of laps they finished which was tied to how much cash they would receive from the donations.....

I'm already looking forward to next year's Jog-a-thon.... if they'll have me. Hopefully I didn't mess up any lap cards causing huge controversy or costing the school big dollars. By the way, Brenna ran 28 laps which made me very proud (and no I wasn't her tally marker).

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