From: Chuck Grimes, staff guardian ad litem, Advocates for Children
With an understanding and forgiving spouse and family, this writer, for better or for worse, added many hours on a daily basis to those spent in the traditional classroom. During 42 school years, most of which were spent in a sixth-grade classroom, this writer chose a long path home following the afternoon dismissal bell. The “path home” consistently led to a gymnasium, football field, baseball diamond, golf course and/or a cross-country course.
During those many seasons, many, many pep talks were created and delivered. Many, many attempts at motivating young people “to dig a bit deeper” when worn out and “to do absolute personal best” were made in hope that a team goal could be accomplished.
Admittedly, many of those emotional pleas came up a bit short. But, some were moderately successful and feelings of self-satisfaction resulted.
For the record: This “retired” teacher hasn’t lost his passion for kids and still likes to “coach.” He also takes pride in knowing he has contributed in a small way to recent efforts made by members of the Bartholomew County Retired Teachers Association. These efforts were reported in an article published in The Republic on May 18.
In an article that highlighted the 50th anniversary of BARTA, it was noted that in 2016, 39,375 hours of volunteer work had been provided by members of BARTA. Wow!
Before continuing, an apology must be issued in advance to those former educators who specialize in math. Numbers were never this writer’s thing. Hopefully, no glaring errors will be found in the following.
My calculator indicates — with rounding — that each of the 330 BARTA members donated about two hours per week to a meaningful cause in 2016. Without question, that statistic is evidence that retired educators supply this community with one of its many strong pillars.
The latest statistics also remind us that the number of children in Bartholomew County in need of services from a Court Appointed Special Advocate presently numbers in the neighborhood of 50. The Republic reported a week ago that a graduating class of six recently completed CASA training. This group of caring adults is much appreciated.
A short list of unfortunate realities include that the six, which included four from Bartholomew County, did not include any members of the teacher team.
Research is available that suggests that 2.5 hours per week from a CASA volunteer can make a huge difference in the life of a child in need of services.
So, team, can we all reach down a bit deeper into our bucket of available hours? Surely, a significant number can find an additional 2.5 hours per week to help an abused and neglected kid?
There are enough of us in Bartholomew County to erase the waiting list of kids and easily create a waiting list of our own. As a team, we can make this happen.
Please call 812-372-2808 or visit apowerfulvoice.org to find answers to your questions.