The number of hours volunteers have contributed at Williams/Ledger Elementary School is impressive: 2,662.34 in 2016-2017 and 1,291.32 for just the first semester.

Williams/Ledger Elementary is one of the largest elementary schools in the school district.

With more than 750 students, volunteers are an integral part of assisting teachers with administrative tasks, allowing them more instructional time in the classroom with the students.

Debbie Payne is the school’s volunteer coordinator.

“Many of them are like our family,” Payne said. “Our staff knows each one by name and requests certain ones for different projects. There are many of our regular volunteers that continue to come and volunteer daily. “

John Rachwitz can be found in the parent room, cutting and gluing projects, laminating items and making copies for the teachers. He helps out on popcorn and pickle day too, packing the pickles and bagging popcorn for the students.

“When I first started to volunteer, I was doing it to bide my time,” Rachwitz said. “Now, I enjoy helping out the community schools.”

Mike Bachie, a military retiree, has volunteered for the past five years, arriving in the morning and staying all day to assist with ongoing projects.

”I enjoy volunteering at school. It’s relaxing,” Bachie said. “Besides, I feel like I’m making a difference in education.”

Volunteers assist in the offices, helping with light filing and paperwork as well as in the libraries, cafeteria, and traffic control.

It is a familiar environment for volunteer Melissa Powers.

”After being a teacher for years, I got used to being around children, so it’s only natural that I should volunteer,” Powers said. “I remember how much I appreciated volunteers when I was teaching and needed that extra help in my own classroom.”

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