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Sherbondy lends a helping hand in and out of classroom
by Damian Tromerhauser
Jan 23, 2013 | 3065 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Spanish Springs resident Leah Sherbondy volunteers more than her share of hours as a parent at Van Gorder Elementary School.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela -- Spanish Springs resident Leah Sherbondy volunteers more than her share of hours as a parent at Van Gorder Elementary School.
Every day, Van Gorder Elementary School averages close to 25 parents who come in and volunteer their time around the school. One of those dedicated volunteers is Leah Sherbondy.

From the day that Sherbondy’s son started kindergarten at Van Gorder, she has been lending a helping hand in any way she can. Now with her son in second grade and her daughter in kindergarten, Sherbondy has been involved at VGES for three years and has loved every moment of it.

Once a week Sherbondy volunteers her time in the classroom, assisting teachers as needed. Along with the chunks of time in class, Sherbondy is also involved in the Parent Faculty Association (PFA) at Van Gorder, serving as secretary.

“Initially I volunteered in the kindergarten classroom and I’ve continued to stay in both the kids’ classrooms once a week as well as becoming more and more involved with the PFA,” Sherbondy said. “With the PFA, I was just a member or participant for the first year and a half, but this year I took on the role of secretary so, my involvement has increased greatly. I still try to get into the classroom though. It’s fun and important to see what is going on in the classrooms.”

Sherbondy does more than just get into the classroom as an onlooker though, engrossing herself in activities no matter how tedious the work. From reading one-on-one with kids to making copies for classroom assignments, Sherbondy takes pride in it all.

“I enjoy all the kids, whether they’re my own kid or someone else’s children. It’s just rewarding to be in the classroom and work hands on with them," she said. "My son who is in second grade has been in class with a lot of the same kids since kindergarten and first grade, so it’s fun to see them all grow together. It’s just fun and rewarding. I just use it as an opportunity to kind of get a better sense of what’s going on.

“I think that was a lot of my initial interest with the PFA. Until you really come to meetings and hear what the needs are, you just kind of assume that the school has a copy machine and computers. You wouldn’t know or think about the fact that there are 800 plus kids that have to cycle through one computer lab. If there is testing going on, that means all those other classes don’t have access. So we made a decision to buy more computers so there’s more computer access. Every one of our events that generate any kind of income is targeted specifically for a specific need. Our PFA pays for our P.E. aide and this year we raised money to buy new non-fiction books for the library. I just became more aware because it was brought to my attention.”

While Sherbondy likes being able to help out in any way possible, she is not the only one who enjoys her time in the classroom.

“I think they like it,” Sherbondy said of her second grader and kindergartner. “I always get big smiles from them. I think they enjoy me being in their class. They’re always asking if it’s my day to be in one of their classrooms. I think now while they’re younger, they definitely enjoy it.”

Although Sherbondy relishes the smiles she gets from her own children, she said she volunteers her time because of the children at Van Gorder.

“The bottom line is it’s for the kids,” she said. “I’m not helping my kids any more than anyone else is, I just have the opportunity to be in here. I think that teachers need as much help and support as they can get so they can do their job and teach our children. If that means that I come in and do something that would have taken 15 or 20 minutes away from the children, I’m glad to help.”
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