Volunteer makes a difference to elementary school

Volunteer makes a difference to elementary school
Posted on 09/28/2018
September 2018 Volunteer of the MonthCHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- The Jefferson County Board of Education recognized the Volunteer of the Month during their meeting on Monday. The new recognition, which only began in May, is an opportunity for staff and administrators to recognize the tremendous work that volunteers do in the school system. There was an inspiring story told about the September Volunteer of the Month, Carmen Bermudez, who was a new parent last year at Page Jackson Elementary School.
Principal Nicole Shaffer nominated Bermudez for the honor and attended the meeting to talk about the impact she has had, especially on one student in the school who could speak no English.  When Bermudez heard about the situation, she volunteered to sit with the child and help staff communicate.
After just one day Bermudez learned that the child was hungry, had been removed from her home in El Salvador, and had come to live with relatives here who needed some assistance themselves. Bermudez obtained food for the child, delivered it to the home, and communicated with the mother about resources available to help this family. She even suggested that the child be moved to a class with other Spanish speaking students so she’d be able to communicate with some of her peers.
“Carmen has what all educators must have to make a difference in the lives of children--Empathy,” Shaffer said. “She has taken a student who was withdrawn and unable to effectively communicate with staff and peers and through building a rapport with this student was able to meet her academic, social, emotional, and physical needs.”
Shaffer said the student has flourished and is now a happy, typical second grader that loves to listen to stories, is learning to communicate in English, and has made many friends. 

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