Mom makes Kingsbury library fun

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 19, 2003

The quiet hush of children's voices will soon permeate the environs of a brightly painted room on the first floor of Kingsbury Elementary.

And when those children arrive for a new school year, they will find new books, and new adventures in learning, thanks in large part to Jennifer Leach and other volunteers like her.

Leach, a former high school English teacher, volunteers regularly at the elementary school where her son, Austin, is in second grade.

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A stay-at-home mom for the moment, Leach said volunteering at Kingsbury allows her to contribute something to her child's education, have fun and still be at home with her children while they are young.

"I think education is so important; I think volunteering is something that you're supposed to do. My mother volunteered when I was in school. This is where my love is. I feel like this is my job."

Last year, Leach volunteered two mornings a week to work in the school's library, and to read to the children during story time.

As vice-president of the Kingsbury Parent-Teacher Organization, she also participates in fund raising activities and family social events throughout the year.

Some days, she brought her three-year-old son, Tyler, with her. The family-oriented atmosphere at Kingsbury allowed him to come, too.

"He loves to come here," Leach said. "And he knows Miss Mary (Stuntebeck, school secretary) passes out candy. That's where I would find him when I didn't know where he was."

Leach said she wished more parents would get involved in their child's education by volunteering.

"I think when you are willing to give up your time, it tells your children that you value their education, their school system and their teacher. I think there has to be a good working relationship between the parents and the school staff, everyone working as a team."

Kingsbury Elementary Principal Shelly McGraw said she is thankful for Leach and other volunteers who are willing to pitch in and help out.

"To a principal, teachers, and school staff, it means everything (to have volunteers)," McGraw said. "There are not enough hours in the day to get done everything we want to do. The extra pair of hands that a parent provides is essential for the focus to be there we want it to be-- one our students."