Engaging Families for Student Success

Volunteers Shape Turning the Page

February 21, 2017

Volunteer working with students at our hands-on STEAM Fair

At each Turning the Page event, volunteers play a crucial role. Their presence has helped Turning the Page serve more families and host exciting events this year.

Throughout this year, volunteers have contributed to Turning the Page programs. Volunteers have drafted lesson plans, worked with students and chaperoned a field trip. Our volunteers are all different ages, bring different talents, and each volunteers for unique reasons. No matter how they help, each is essential to our work. Meet three volunteers and learn how they serve Turning the Page.

A Role Model for Our Elementary Students

High School student Desiree is in the National Honors Society at her school which partners with Turning the Page.  All NHS scholars at this high school volunteer at a Turning the Page Community Night each month. Desiree is an active volunteer who enjoys working with our youngest students who are four to seven years old.

“I have learned to be responsible, patient and sympathetic when volunteering,” Desiree said.

Desiree’s favorite part of Community Night is distributing give-away books to students at the end of each workshop. She loves seeing the care they put into deciding on a book and their excitement when they find one they like.

High school volunteers like Desiree become consistent role models to our elementary students at Community Nights. Younger students especially enjoy getting the help of high school volunteers when reading and doing crafts.

A School Staff Member Who Goes Above and Beyond

Ms. Burns is a volunteer security guard at Kellman Elementary. She has made it her mission to provide a safe and positive learning environment for students.

In September of 2015, Ms. Burns became Kellman’s full-time security guard. When she retired in 2016, she still wanted to be a part of the Kellman community and she now volunteers three days a week at the school.

“The reason I keep coming back is because I love helping our children succeed in getting a better education,” Ms. Burns said.

When volunteering, Ms. Burns is the first and last face students and staff see when coming and going. Passionate about her role, she greets students and parents by name and keeps them up-to-date on school events and information.

Ms. Burns helps make every Community Night a success by encouraging each parent she sees to attend.

“Community Nights take me back to when I was a little girl. My mother would have the family eating every meal together before school and after school,” Ms. Burns said.

Ms. Burns knows a tight-knit community is important for student success and does her part to connect families with school staff and resources.

Our New Partnership with the UChicago Service Match Program

Lucy is a freshman studying economics at the University of Chicago. This year Turning the Page was selected to be a part of the university’s Service Match Program, which matches UChicago students to Chicago non-profit organizations.

Turning the Page was matched with three volunteers, including Lucy, who are passionate about education and want to get to know a new community in Chicago. The three volunteer once a week during their winter and spring quarters.


UChicago volunteer, Lucy (left) reading with our 4th and 5th grade students.

“I decided to volunteer at Turning the Page because I wanted to be involved with an organization that is making impact on the local community. I also appreciate how volunteering with TTP allows me to visit parts of Chicago that I do not normally go to,” Lucy said.

Lucy and her fellow volunteers have played an essential role in February’s Community Nights. They drafted lesson plans for student workshops and planned experiment stations for our hands-on STEAM fair. They also volunteer in our student workshops at Community Nights. The volunteers will continue planning upcoming Community Nights, and Lucy will also help with our spring book drive.

Thank You to All Our Volunteers!

Each volunteer brings unique talents and skills that make our programs better. Families look forward to working with volunteers from the community, and these connections strengthen our schools and neighborhood. We’re looking forward to working with current and new volunteers in the future and seeing the impact they have on our organization and neighborhood.

To find out more about becoming a Turning the Page volunteer, contact our Chicago or Washington D.C. Volunteer Coordinators.

For Chicago volunteer opportunities:
contact Emily Lien at elien@turningthepage.org

For Washington D.C. volunteer opportunities:
contact Jenn Parisi at jparisi@turningthepage.org


Volunteers and students at the year’s winter field trip to the Chicago History Museum