When my younger daughter, Julia, wrapped up 5th grade at Lakeridge Elementary last year to join her sister Grace at Islander Middle School, I thought that my time as a parent volunteer was drawing to a close.
Over the summer I learned that my perceptions were incorrect. With children at two different schools, I had not zeroed into all the opportunities there are at Islander Middle School (IMS) to provide much needed assistance to the staff, teachers, and students at the middle school level. I joined the IMS PTA board, which gave me a whole new world view regarding the need for parent volunteers. We are truly needed!
When our kids reach their early teens some of them don’t want us to be an active part of their daily school life, aka “I don’t want you to be seen by my friends at school!” That can make it a tough choice for parents who want to be involved. Plus, staff and teacher time have to fill the gaps made by the loss of parent volunteers. I learned through my new connection to IMS that there are *so many* tasks and jobs that make a HUGE difference at the school, but don’t involve much contact with your child and her friends. It’s a total win-WIN!
I decided to join my friend Melanie Werdel and tackle monthly staff appreciation luncheons at the middle school. As co-VPs of Staff Appreciation, we coordinate finding chairs/co-chairs (fun to do with a friend!) and volunteers for each monthly luncheon, provide support for theme and menu ideas (Pinterest!), coordinate decorations and donations, plus roll up our sleeves to assist with making each lunch a special event for our IMS staff. Melanie and I chaired the first event in August so we could learn the ins and outs of putting one on since we were new at our roles. It was so fun! We hosted breakfast, lunch and secured a mobile espresso cart (donated by four families) for a mid-afternoon treat for the Teacher training/prep day. The community support was overwhelming….families baked yummy treats, our favorite Southend Starbucks donated to the cause, and our local Homegrown contributed to make our IMS faculty and staff feel appreciated.
Angela Brown and Janet Smith co-chaired the September luncheon and did a phenomenal job coordinating and serving lunch in the brand new teachers lounge. Again, the support we received from the IMS parent community was huge. When Angela and Janet sent out the sign-up it was filled within 24 hours with four different kinds of chili, all of the fixings, delicious salads, and homemade baked treats. The teachers and staff were so appreciative!
If you are an IMS parent, and would like to chair/co-chair, help, or donate at future staff appreciation luncheons, below is the calendar of upcoming dates. Please contact me at (206) 225-1500, or email me at at Julie.Wilson@windermere.com to let me know which luncheon you would like to volunteer at, and in what capacity. We need to provide food about 50 people at both Lunch A (11:20-11:50) and Lunch B (12:20-12:50). We also need volunteers to set up, serve during lunch periods, and clean up. Thank you so much!!
October Thurs 10/27
November Thurs 11/17
December Tues 12/13 (Mobile espresso cart and cookie exchange)
January Thurs 1/19
February Thurs 2/9
March Thurs 3/16
April Thurs 4/20
May Thurs 5/4
One of the programs offered by Mercer Island Beach Club (MIBC), which is so special for my own family, is Swim Team. It’s a long-standing tradition that spans over 6 decades and is still going strong. Swim Team features program options for all swimming abilities, from 6 and 7 year olds joining Little Waves all the way through to advanced high school swimmers. Not only do participants hone their swimming skills and make lasting friendships, they learn self-discipline, how to set goals and work as a team as they practice and compete.
MIBC families – even though spring just arrived, it’s time to start planning for the 2015 Swim Team season! Registration is currently in session and runs until May 15th. You can register online here. Plus here are some dates to add to your family calendar:
- April 21 — Registration Night 6:00-8:00 pm at MIBC: Sylvia Swimwear staff will be on hand to help your swimmer find the right size suit. Logowear samples will be on hand for your swimmers to try on before you order. MIBC Logowear includes the following items: sweatshirt hoodies, zip up hoodies, warm up jackets with pants, sweat pants, pajama bottoms, pajama shorts, warm deck coats, embroidered towels & blankets, multiple colors of tote bags and custom swim caps.
- May 8 — Registration Deadline for Logowear and Apparel: Make sure your swimmer takes advantage of trying on the Logowear during Registration Night because once you place your order, the items cannot be exchanged or returned.
- May 15 — Registration Deadline for Swim Team: Online registration closes for all Swim Team levels.
- May 18 — Swim Team Opening Night: All swim team members’ first night of spring training. Parents will have a meeting at 6pm and the social committee will serve hot chocolate and cookies.
- May 18 to June 17 — Little Waves Introduction Session: The Little Waves will conduct their spring practice in two groups while they learn swim strokes and develop comfort in the pool.
- May 30th — Deadline for joining Team Unify calendar: Team Unify is used to schedule what meets swimmers will participate in, based on their availability. It’s also used to schedule parent volunteers for each meet. One parent for each swimmer competing in a meet must volunteer for 2 hours during the event to ensure the competitions run smoothly.
If you’d like to look at Swim Team swimwear prior to Registration Night, Sylvia Swimwear has two retail locations (Bellevue: 14100 NE 20th; Northgate: 9596 1st Ave NE, Seattle). You can go to either locations to try on suits. Once you determine the correct size your swimmer requires, you’ll need to order the suit from goswim.com. Click here for details on how to place your order online, but please note that the dates on the instructions were for the 2014 season.
My family is so excited for this year’s swim competition season! If you have any questions about the sign up timeline, or the upcoming spring practice that runs May 18th through June 19th, please ask in the comment section. See you at MIBC!