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Hayes Leonard Elementary Golden Years Volunteers


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Golden Years… the time of life after retirement. Those in the work force plan, save, strategize, and envision life in the Golden Years - dreaming about the freedom of spending time without the burden of a work schedule.

Pam Draschil’s retirement plan included children. Mrs. Draschil was the Market Coordinator for Custom Decorating for JCPenney for 22 years before she took early retirement to travel with her husband, George. Knowing she would have down time, she contacted Hayes Leonard Elementary School three years ago to ask if she could help students with their learning.

Since then, Mrs. Draschil comes to school regularly to help 1st and 2nd graders learn to read. And, she uses her travels in her work with the students, often sending post cards and bringing in items for them to see from across the world – like coins, bottles, and maps.

Mrs. Draschil works with small groups on practicing sight words. Students appreciate her help on various reading activities and benefit from her help with editing and reworking their writing. Mrs. Draschil also has a regular 1st grade Book Club that meets with her to navigate the new experience of chapter books; their favorite is Blizzard of the Blue Moon.

Mrs. Draschil says, “Being with 1st and 2nd graders has its rewards… like when we read a book and all learn something… It is surprising how well they read!”

Hayes Leonard students love learning with Mrs. Draschil, too. Mrs. Colter, first grade teacher, agrees, “The kids really look forward to Mrs. Dracshil coming in to the classroom. She brings a lot of her experiences to the kids, and they look forward to her postcards when she is travelling!”

To others in their golden years who are thinking of volunteering, Mrs. Draschil says, “Go for it… you will laugh! Where else can you work and get a hug when you leave?” Plus, volunteering in a school keeps you active, curious, and youthful.

Thank you to Pam Draschil – and all of the Golden Years Volunteers out there helping our students. Our kids benefit from your time spent at school.

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