#IVolunteerBecause: Maritza Cedeño

Posted on April 5, 2018
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Categories: Featured FACEs

Parent Maritza Cedeño helps us celebrate #VolunteerAppreciationMonth by telling us why she volunteers in her child’s school. Tell us your story by using the hashtag #IVolunteerBecause and tagging us @sdpFACE!

I had been working for many years. My oldest daughter was starting kindergarten. At that time I had given birth to my second daughter. We did our calculations on before and after care, full time daycare for the new baby, our lunches, transportation, etc.—but what I worried about most of all was not being able to enjoy my daughters if I returned to my present employment.

It had been difficult for me to get used to leaving my oldest daughter at daycare. Mother’s instinct had been telling me that she had a condition. She went years without being properly diagnosed. When she began Kindergarten I had my middle daughter. I would take snacks to school for my oldest daughter.

It was at that point that I found myself getting to know teachers, the principal, and all the wonderful and supportive staff. Getting involved in the school also became a way for me to fill that gap from having resigned from my job.

I became more involved at the school, bringing my little one with me. My little one got so used to being at school with me volunteering that she was no problem at all. I enjoyed helping out and seeing students from all cultures trying to obtain the same thing—a good education. I saw caring teachers: teachers that truly cared for their 25+ students. I became part of Home and School and attended all meetings, helped with Scholastic orders, organized the coupon book calculations, etc.

When my then-baby was entering school I did the same for her. I continued being involved in school. I was very active in Home and School, Scholastics book sales, coupon book calculations, school store, holiday shopping for the bazaar, etc.

When my middle daughter was in fourth grade I committed myself to help her teacher once a week. It was the Thursday “Blue Folder” day. I checked and restocked all folders with any documents and school work needing to go home for each student. I also helped with copying and sorting and building an assortment of grade level books which I was able to obtain from the book bank. By that time I had my third and last daughter whom I would bring with me to school just like I did my middle daughter.

I had to opportunity to know two magnificent principals, Dr. Jacoby and Mrs. Runner, and of course the caring teachers. Most of all, I still remember some of the students and wonder how they are making out—whether they are also graduating high school like my daughter.

My middle daughter entered Masterman, and I enrolled my youngest at a preschool at the age of four. Both myself and another parent became very active with the two pre-Kindergarten classes. We found a company and got booklets to sell five dollar candy. Between both classes we gathered enough funds to pay for bus trips and do an end-of-year party with book bag filled with school items. We also purchased t-shirts for parents and every pre-K student for the trips. These were awesome activities to accomplish. Keeping track of everyone’s size, finding a reputable print shop, making contacts were some of the few tasks we performed.

Because of my little one’s age she did pre-Kindergarten twice, which to me was no problem at all. This time she was at the same elementary school that my other two daughters had attended. I took a break that one year, then moved to another area.

My baby is now 11 years old and at her last year at our current school. She’s been there six years, and I have continued to volunteer as needed. I am presently volunteering for the Family Reading Extravaganza event working with a great group of people, including my daughter’s music teacher (who reached out to me for this event), an assistant principal, and two assistant superintendents.

Volunteering to me has been so rewarding. My middle daughter received many honors in fourth grade before going to Masterman for fifth grade. She brought the first single-stream recycling program to her elementary school, received the Teachers Association plaque, etc. She has continued to excel in all her years. Now in her last school year, she has been accepted to many colleges and the Cum Laude Society. My youngest is a very good student, involved in both school activities and outside activities. They have developed a desire to also be involved.

I am able to see how being a major part of my daughters’ education is paying off. How well they perform is my pride and joy.