It is rare that you meet a person who is completely selfless. Three years ago I had the pleasure of meeting someone who is. On the evening of Oct. 13, 2015, I was invited to Acworth City Hall for a Town Hall Meeting. I was asked to attend so I could share some of the major successes of McCall Primary. I sat down and introduced myself to the woman beside me. She introduced herself as Jeanette Lutterbeck, and told me she volunteers all over the city. I asked her why she wasn’t volunteering at McCall, and from this the Monarch Senior program was born.
Jeanette and I exchanged information. Oftentimes, I meet people who express a desire to help McCall who don’t follow through. I understand that life gets in the way, so when we exchanged information I wasn’t positive anything would come from this. Boy was I wrong! Jeanette contacted me the next week and we set up a meeting. I expressed my desire to establish a volunteer program where seniors in the community would commit to a minimum of one hour per week volunteering in classrooms. Jeanette took this idea and ran with it, reaching out to her friends in the community.
Jeanette established a screening interview to make sure the volunteers were the right fit for McCall Primary. She also worked with our parent facilitator to ensure that all the volunteers received the proper training and understood the volunteer guidelines. We started out with just a few volunteers, but have grown to 19.
I could not be happier with the Monarch Senior program. Our students completely love the attention they get from the volunteers. They love reading to the volunteers and playing math games with them. In addition to academic benefits, I think it is great that our students have the opportunity to interact with seniors in the community. I believe they will develop a greater appreciation and respect for their elders.
As much as I think the students benefit, Jeanette will tell you that it is the seniors who benefit the most, because it gives them a sense of purpose. Many of our volunteers go way beyond the one hour a week minimum. Some volunteer in multiple classrooms, and attend field trips and after school performances. They truly bond with the teachers and students they serve.
As a principal, you often have an idea but know it would be impossible to accomplish without the right person supporting you. Jeanette is that person. She is a woman of action who embodies the giving spirit that is pervasive in Acworth. The staff and students of McCall Primary greatly appreciate all she does to support our school.
– Principal Thomas Farrell, McCall Primary