In tough economic times, we rely even more on volunteers who contribute their time, talent and treasure to support our children.
For example, we have residents who donated funds for a high school golf team. A civic club provided funds to support the Cinderella Fella Ball, a prom for special needs teenagers. Civic clubs provided dictionaries to schools. One group updated American flags in classrooms. Hilton Head Island's public tennis league sponsored junior varsity teams in all high schools.
Hundreds of mentors and readers support individual children in schools. Gardeners and artists collaborate to beautify school grounds and teach children about conservation. And dozens of volunteers are preparing for the March 2 Foundation for Educational Excellence fundraiser, which raises money to support teacher grants for innovative classroom practices (tickets at www.foundationedexcellence.com).
Our hearts were warmed recently when Okatie Elementary was visited by some grandparents who live in our county. When the couple heard that some families were having difficulty paying for their children's lunches, they anonymously contributed $1,000. Neighbors who heard the couple's story sent additional checks to the school.
Raising children to be healthy, happy and successful is a full-time job that requires all of us, working together. That's why it is encouraging to know that there are so many caring individuals in our community who truly want to help, even if they don't have children still in school.
To the hundreds of you who "pay it forward," we thank you and salute you.
Valerie Truesdale, superintendent
Beaufort County School District