Fighting Poverty with Passion
Sheana Turner reporting live from Andrew H. Wilson Charter School. Just as the New Orleans Saints started their season so have the Wilson Wolves. This month has been full with excitement, anxiety (the good kind), and frustration. We kicked off September with the Protectors of the Pack (POPs) meetings, Wilson Family Association Meetings, and Volunteer recruitment and Placement. The Protectors of the Pack is a group of fathers and grandfathers of the students that attend Wilson Charter School. They meet every first Friday of the of the month to discuss/ share ideas on fatherhood and mentoring opportunities within the community and school. The POPs group hosted a Saints Watch Party, Beautification Day at the school, and they have begun mentoring 8th graders that are apart of our Career Readiness class.
The Wilson Family Association Meeting has been my most anticipated meeting since I’ve started working here at the school. This means so much to me, like I mentioned in my last blog; just last year I was an active parent attending everything I could to help my child with his educational growth. My concerns going into the Family Association Meeting were how am I going to get the parents to attend the meeting, what activities will the teachers create so this will be exciting for the parents just as well as the students…my mind was going overboard. The meeting was a blast with the kindergarten teachers–they were so thrilled to pitch their ideas. I called every first grade parent and invited the whole family out. Soliciting donations for the event was very difficult for me. I soon received help and those letters I typed up came in handy and we received donations from Whole Foods and Cajuns Seafood Restaurant. September 14 came and the WFA was so packed. I was so proud of myself and that so happens to be the principle of the month, but I was overwhelmed with joy on how it all turned out. With each meeting I become more at ease with my job and the impact that I’m having here at Wilson.
The challenging and frustrating part about my job is volunteer recruitment; the easy part is getting them to sign up, the hard part is getting them to commit. During open house, orientations, programming fairs or just parents inquiring, I have them all signed up and eager to help out around the school, but when it comes to being here and committing to their obligations I just don’t understand why they wouldn’t show up. I guess I will just have to come up with a different strategy to hold them accountable. I really appreciate the parents that are here. This isn’t the end of the world for me though–I’ll keep calling, sending flyers, and nagging them to come help. After all it’s a part of my “VAD” description!!!