A Special Volunteer

~Post by: Char DeKoekkoek, Elementary Curriculum Coordinator

“Class of 2022, please say thank you to Mrs. Whitmarsh.” THANK YOU, MRS. WHITMARSH!”

“Class of 2023, please say thank you to Mrs. Whitmarsh.” “THANK YOU, MRS. WHITMARSH!”

Every Wednesday--library day in the elementary building--this refrain of “Thank you, Mrs. Whitmarsh!” echoes through the hallways. One day a week for the past 25 years, Barb Whitmarsh has volunteered in the elementary library. She sits behind the desk and sorts books, repairs torn pages, checks out magazines, makes recommendations for reluctant readers, listens to children tell their stories, encourages them to read, and she absolutely, truly loves these students.

Barb and her husband, Phil, sent their three children to Shoreline Christian, but that has been many years ago. Their children have long since graduated but Barb has stayed. She is a faithful volunteer who the children can depend on. Why has she stayed this long? What keeps her here year after year? Barb’s answer comes in four parts.

  1. I love the children. They give me hugs, they tell me about sports, and pets and trips and brothers and sisters. I feel loved by them.
  2. The teachers are very supportive. They thank me and tell me I am important in the children’s school experiences. It has been wonderful to know that they were praying for me during some difficult times down through the years.
  3. I love the books. It is such fun to share my love of books with eager children.
  4. When we had 3 children attending the school we received very generous grants-in-aid so we could keep them here. One reason I started helping was to repay the generosity of the school.

Each year Barb is sad to see the 6th graders move on. She knows she will miss them. But then a new group of eager, bright-eyed kindergarteners come, and she has new children to love and get to know. She says it has been a very rewarding 25 years, working with great kids and the best teachers she knows. 


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