Volunteers spread cheer at Christ Our King-Stella Maris

MOUNT PLEASANT — Christmas came a little early this year as the Home & School Association at Christ Our King-Stella Maris School decided to try something a little different from the usual scarves, candy, and apple-theme mugs as a gift for the 40 teachers.

Spearheaded by the four enthusiastic H&S officers — President Liesl Westbrook, Vice President Karen Albenesius, Secretary Kim Hauser, and Treasurer Pam Cole — the ambitious project actually began last summer. The goal of the Home & School Association was to make a meaningful contribution to those who contribute so effectively each day to the students at COK-SM.

First, members tackled the areas where the teachers copy, collate, and collect materials for the classroom. What they did was completely renovate the upstairs lounge by adding a wall to create a commodious workroom with new computers, copiers and other equipment, and redo the remaining area to make a comfortable sitting space. As the next step, they addressed the downstairs lounge by redoing it into a larger, more inviting room where the teachers could relax, eat, and socialize.

These physical preparations led to the true heart of H&S’s plan. A list of 30 volunteers was assembled by the first day of school. Trained in the use of the new machines, this volunteer crew now handles much of the paperwork the teachers previously had to find the time to do. The Home & School volunteers have made a wonderful difference, and the helpful spirit has energized many of the other tasks they have traditionally done as well. From lunchroom duties to wrapping paper sales and all the field trips and fund-raisers in between, the “givers” look just as happy as the “receivers” this year. As one smiling soul put it, “Isn’t this why it’s called Home and School?”