By KELSY LORIN TAYLOR
Web Editor and Feature Writer
REACHING OUT: Volunteers from Jenks Public Schools gather together during a recent meeting to discuss new ways to reach out to students and to improve their education. There are a variety of opportunities to become involved in the schools and new volunteers are always welcome. From left are Cindy Saley, Susie Anderson, Melony Woosley, Joan Olsen, Suzanne Downey and Suzanne Metcalf.
Courtesy of Cindy Saley
One of the most rewarding ways to become involved in a community is through volunteering. Cindy Saley is one of the many volunteers who enjoy reaching out to students through Jenks Public Schools. She hopes that their efforts will continue to make a difference and encourage others to join in.
In 1997, Saley and her family decided to move to the area for a career change. “Our children were young and we wanted them to be in a good school system. With a lot of research about test scores and accreditation, we chose to live in the Jenks district.”
Shortly after settling in, Saley decided to volunteer for the schools. “I like to be where my kids are. Statistically, kids do better in school when their parents are involved. I have always wanted to help and jumped right in. Everyone was so welcoming and more than willing to show me the ropes.”
There are many ways to become involved with Jenks Public Schools. Saley explains that there are curriculum committees, special activities, various sites, parent teacher associations and athletic opportunities. “Another way for individuals to volunteer is through the Jenks Public Schools Foundation, which helps raise funds for much needed programs and supplies.”
Saley is primarily involved in Teacher Allocation, which is a program that provides funding for classroom materials. “Determined by our annual budget, I review requests by teachers and allocate funds to them based on need. It’s a wonderful way to help teachers and it is very rewarding for everyone.”
This year, she also volunteered to help organize and plan Gradfest. This event is held on an annual basis but takes one year of preparation. “The event is a drug and alcohol free event for seniors during the night of graduation. They lock themselves into the high school and we provide a variety of entertainment in celebration of their big day. It keeps them safe and they have a lot of fun together. We have 96 percent participation!”
One of the most rewarding aspects of volunteering for Saley is being able to give back to students in Jenks. “Our ultimate goal is to educate our kids and to also give them other opportunities to be successful and contribute to the community. It is important that they become involved in volunteering as well since it gives them great experience in many fields in preparation for college and careers.”
Through the years, Saley has volunteered alongside of many others in the community. “I have enjoyed being a part of such a wonderful group of volunteers. I have admired the way that they are dedicated to the success of not only their own, but all of the students in the district. They give so much of themselves through time and talent. They have all taught me so much and I am looking forward to the coming years with them.”
Those who are interested in volunteering with Jenks Public Schools may call 918-299-4415 for a list of available opportunities. For additional information, please visit www.jenksps.org.