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In 2015, 270 members generously contributed more than $150,000 as a 150th Anniversary Gift toward the creation of a Volunteer Resource Center at the new West Middle Community School. Nicole Rodriguez, Director of Volunteer Resources at West Middle School,  recently shared some of the Center’s first-year outcomes.

“The Volunteer Resource Center has engaged volunteers from a number of sources, including school parents and families, area companies such as The Hartford, local high schools, and Asylum Hill Congregational Church,” Nicole reports. The Volunteer Resource Center has engaged volunteers to support a variety of special events at the school, including the Dr. Seuss Reading Celebration with grades K-2, Multicultural Diversity Celebration for grades 5-8, and Junior Achievement Day. School-wide events typically involve all 475 students. 

Over 100 volunteers are serving as Math and Reading Buddies. Volunteer Buddies visit West Middle School on the first and third Tuesday and Thursday of each month to help 3rd and 4th grade students become more proficient in math and literacy.

Along with helping in the classroom during the school day, members of AHCC have also led enrichment activities after school, including knitting, and piano lessons. One teacher commented, “The students who participated in crochet thoroughly enjoyed learning something new! One student took home the yarn given to her and came back with a completed purse she worked on with her mother.”

The Volunteer Resource Center has provided a more enriching learning experience not only for the students, but also for the volunteers. Volunteers have commented, “I got more than I gave,” and “I enjoyed every minute and was grateful that the teacher I worked with allowed me to have so much time with all of her students. I learned so much from them.”

Plans are underway to enlist more volunteers, especially to assist students in the higher grades. Volunteer Orientations take place on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9am, 11am and 1pm as well as by appointment.

For more information on volunteer opportunities at WMCS please contact Nicole Rodriguez, Director of Volunteer Resources via email at nrodriguez@bgchartford.org or phone at 860.695.5562.