Guest post by Carla Livesay
I began tutoring at Cornerstone Preparatory School-Lester Campus 2 ½ years ago. I thought it would be a great way to support our church-led mission by investing in the children in our community.
As an occupational therapist, I enjoy the one-on-one that comes with teaching or re-teaching a skill, so tutoring at Cornerstone was the perfect opportunity for me.
When Cornerstone Prep moved to the Lester campus, I helped with copying in the office and realized that we could save the teachers and volunteers time if we re-organized the booklet files. My daughter Lauren was excited to help, and we got to know a lot of wonderful people committed to making Cornerstone a great school.
This past year, I returned to tutoring. It was such an incredible experience. The 3rd graders loved reading out loud to me, and it was rewarding watching the Kindergarteners catch up in their “sight word” reading with regular tutoring sessions. I had a parent thank me for working with her son. She was proud of how he was doing in school. The teachers were wonderful to work with and really appreciated the extra attention given to their students.
Our Sunday school class sponsored a classroom and provided “birthday treats” once a month last year, offering an opportunity to let the students know that Christ Church cares about them.
I have truly enjoyed each experience at Cornerstone, and I hope to become more involved at the Pre-K level in the future. The more children that Cornerstone Prep is able to reach at the Pre-K level, the easier it will be for every teacher coming after to help all of the children reach their full potential.
There are seasons in our lives where it is easier to give our time and there are seasons where it is easier to give financial support. Whatever season you are in, consider the needs at Cornerstone Prep. I am blessed to be a part of what God is doing there, and I encourage you to take a closer look and see if you are being called to work with Cornerstone.
Serving others is not only the essence of following Jesus–spending your time at places like Cornerstone allows you to be a part of an amazing story of how God is working in our city.
CUMC’s own Jennifer Parris is serving as Cornerstone’s “Volunteer” Volunteer Coordinator this year. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org about joining in with any of the opportunities below:
Reading and Math Tutoring: Work with students who need a little extra help on reading or math. Materials and instructions will be provided. 30-min. sessions, Mondays and Tuesdays, 7:30 a.m. — 2:55 p.m.
Copies: Making copies frees up our teachers to be more effective. Volunteers can select a day and time that fits their schedule. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
Utility Player: Different needs arise each week, including such things as sorting/distributing school supplies, decorating a bulletin board or making phone calls to parents. Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
“Sponsoring” a Class: Class sponsors serve a specific classroom throughout the school year. This volunteer communicates directly with the teacher to find out specific needs and helps fill those needs as they arise. This could be anything from helping celebrate birthdays for the month to reading to the class to preparing supplies. Get your Sunday school class involved! Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Lunch: We need 10 volunteers to help our students in the cafeteria. Help younger students get their trays to their table, help pass out utensils and keep order in line. M-F, 10:30-12:25
Help with PE Class: Come any day or time to help our PE coach teach Prepsters how to exercise and play in the gym. PE occurs each day from 7:30 a.m.-2:45 p.m.
Help Distribute Food to Families: Cornerstone Prep partners with Blessings in a Backpack to provide food for families over the weekend. Volunteers sort the food and deliver to the classrooms. Thursday afternoon or Friday, 1-2 hours.
Level donated books: Prepare donated books for inclusion in classroom libraries. Volunteers look up book titles on the web and list the appropriate reading level on them. Any time or day.
After-school Program: Start an after-school program in art, music, drama, character education, sports, etiquette or some other extra-curricular activity. One day per week, 3-4 p.m.
One-time events: There are several events throughout the school year when volunteers are needed. Events include helping children transition to dental exams, well child exams and picture day. Volunteers are needed to proctor testing days in August, November and May. Field day in May also requires a large number of volunteers.
Teachers to have energy, wisdom, patience and endurance
Families to read with and encourage their child, bringing them to school daily
Students to grow in wisdom and knowledge and to have hope for the future
Visit cumcmemphis.org/cornerstoneprep for more updates about Cornerstone Prep