All Students Matter volunteers pivot and find new ways to support local students

by Jeanette Kennedy on June 23, 2020

Families, schools, businesses and nonprofits have all adapted to recent changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. All Students Matter (ASM), a local volunteer organization supporting classrooms in the Ravenswood School District, is no exception.

ASM and the Ravenswood Education Foundation (REF) reached out jointly to their volunteers and supporters and have assembled a cadre of volunteers ready to pitch in this summer as new needs arise in the school district.

ASM has been organizing volunteers to provide the following types of support to Ravenswood students in eastern Menlo Park and East Palo Alto:

Technology for Students – When students needed computers at home, volunteers helped to disassemble Chromebook carts from all 2nd through 5th grade classrooms so that the computers could be cleaned, paired up with a power cord and paperwork, and then sent home with students. In the shift to remote learning, it was important that the students have an internet enabled device for remote class sessions on Zoom with their teacher as well as access to Google Classroom, Seesaw, Epic books and other tools designed for online classrooms.

Shortly after, the call went out for volunteers to assist in preparing iPads to go home with Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten and 1st grade students. The iPads were purchased using donations to the Ravenswood Education Foundation Emergency Fund and volunteers were able to unpack and inventory the iPads and distribute them to families who came to the schools by appointment to pick them up.

Books for Students – As teachers were preparing classroom packets to go home with the Chromebooks and iPads, several ASM volunteers at Willow Oaks had an additional idea. The school’s May book fair had to be cancelled, but ASM volunteers quickly mobilized to send the donated books home with students instead. A half dozen volunteers organized the donated books by grade level and delivered them directly to teachers’ classrooms so that every student at Willow Oaks received two books to read and keep at home.

Helping Teachers Move Classrooms – Most recently, volunteers from ASM and REF have helped teachers pack up their classrooms and principals pack up the common areas of the schools, such as libraries and staff rooms, in preparation for the imminent school mergers. Volunteers were able to help at four elementary schools over the course of a week. The plan is to assist teachers and principals again when the unpacking begins.

As one community, each contributing in our own ways, we can pull together to ensure strong support for all local students and teachers.

Top photo shows volunteers packing up a teacher’s classroom at Willow Oaks School in Menlo Park. Teachers from Willow Oaks are moving to the Belle Haven campus this summer. Side photo shows Stacy May and Judy Nayebi volunteering as a team to prepare Chromebooks to go home with students from Belle Haven School in Menlo Park.

Jeanette Kennedy is an All Students Matter volunteer

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