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Communities In Schools holds annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast

Communities in Schools of Rowan County held its annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast on April 5 as part of National Volunteer Appreciation Week.

More than 50 volunteer tutors and mentors along with the Communities in Schools staff, its board of directors and school system officials gathered for a meal and celebration. Board Chairwoman Michelle Macon welcomed the group and gave an invocation as the breakfast began.

Cub Scouts from Isenberg Elementary School presented the American flag, recited the Scout oath and laws, then lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Jeff Bays and Havel Biggs from the Central Carolinas Council of the Boy Scouts accompanied the Scouts.

Executive Director Ron Turbyfill recognized each school served by CIS.  

Those elementary schools include Hanford Dole, Hurley, Isenberg, Koontz and Overton. Middle schools served are Knox and North Rowan. CIS also serves Henderson Independent High School.

Student support specialists working in the eight schools include Shatoya Housch, Tracy Harris, Beth Foreman, Taylor Downs, Bonnie Harrell, LaShonda Durham, Cynthia Rice, Lyn Wilson, Jane Patterson and Fran Lescoe.

Volunteer trainer and coordinator Wanda Huntley introduced Mark Beymer, who volunteers as a reading tutor at Isenberg Elementary. He spoke about his love of reading, developed as a child in rural Oregon.

“Other than to be outside in nature, there wasn’t much else to do except read,” Beymer said of his childhood.

During long periods away from family members, he read voraciously. “Everything I could get my hands on, including Plato.”

Huntley commended all the volunteers who serve as tutors and mentors and recognized those with top hours of service at each school. They are Carolyn Miller at Hanford Dole; Ashley Honbarrier at Henderson; Margaret Blackford at Hurley; Quaasia Laketha Becton at Isenberg; David Roof at Knox; Frances McGill at Koontz; Aicha Kahia and Gary Mason at North Middle; and Cameo Chamberlain at Overton.

Recognized for serving more than 100 volunteer hours were Tiffany Vang and Sandra Wall at Hurley; Velma Knox and Margaret Blackford at Hurley; and Quaasia Laketha Becton at Isenberg.

Top honors went to Velma Knox, who has logged more than 600 hours of volunteer work at Hurley Elementary, where she greets students as they arrive at school and sees them safely to the bus in the afternoon.

The Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast was made possible by a grant from Speedway Children’s Charities.

Communities in Schools of Rowan County is a member agency of Rowan County United Way.

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