“How Volunteering at High Point Academy Helped Me Find My Village”
We’ve all heard the trope, “it takes a village to raise a child.” But what happens when the people who might normally make up that village live far away? My husband and I moved to Pasadena because it was convenient for our work commutes, but that meant that we moved far away from our family and friends. Having a young family showed us what a challenge being far from your support network can be.
Thankfully, we found High Point. We’ve been at High Point now for 6 years, since my now fifth grader started kindergarten. I figured I could take a page out of my mother’s playbook – volunteer in the classroom and get to know the children and teachers and hopefully grow it from there. I started small, taking advantage of the opportunities to volunteer in the library and art classrooms. Those opportunities tended to fit best into my schedule, as I work full time outside the home. I could sign up for a date far enough in advance and then slot it into my work calendar. Volunteering in the classroom gives you a whole new perspective about your child’s experience in school. You get to see how they interact with teachers and staff, as well as their peers. With my younger daughter, who is in second grade, volunteering in the classroom has let me see her growth, from a timid kindergartener to a self confident little girl who is willing to raise her hand and maybe give a wrong answer, but at least have her ideas heard.
Over time, I discovered that volunteering at school brought me joy. As I volunteered for school wide events, like the annual Book Fair, the biannual Gala, and open house I had the opportunity to meet parents and children in other grades. It allowed me to see the ways in which High Point creates community among the students. Seeing the Family Character Development Program take shape and watch as my own children developed meaningful relationships with students in every grade has increased the sense of community we have. Now, when we are out at the mall, at a local festival, or even just playing at the park, we frequently run into folks from our amazing HPA tribe.
When I was approached about joining the re-imagined Parents Auxiliary Committee (PAX) for the 2018-2019 school year, I jumped at the opportunity to serve the children and families of High Point. Of course, my husband teased that I had been planning this since kinder and my sister noted that my mom, who was always involved in the PTA and scouts, would be proud of me. Serving on the PAX Committee allows me to give back on a much wider scale, supporting the mission of the school, while helping to build the community in which I find such happiness. Little did I know that through service to High Point, I would develop friendships that would nourish me while giving me the chance to be of service to the school my kids love so much.
While I do a lot of volunteering, you don’t need to jump all in like I did to start connecting. I’ve discovered commonalities with parents as I oversee the drink station at Family Dinner Night or wash dishes at Open House. We have many opportunities to be of service to our school community, from hosting a Fall Parent Party to volunteering in the classroom to chairing a PAX event like Book Fair or Open House or working the Eagle’s Nest or meeting with prospective families at Kindergarten Screenings. And if you aren’t sure how to get started, reach out to me and I am happy to chat about which opportunities would be a good fit for you. I look forward to seeing you and your family around campus!
High Point Academy, 1720 Kinneloa Canyon Road, Pasadena, (626) 798-8989 or visit www.highpointacademy.org.