Hello. My name is Kelly L. I graduated with an Associate’s degree in dental hygiene in 2002. I have been practicing as a clinical hygienist ever since. In 2009, I decided to go back to school to complete my Bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene through an online degree completion program at OIT. I have 5 more classes left after this one!
I have chosen the theme of families to write about this term. As you can see from my picture, I am the mother of 2 fabulous kids and family life is what I am all about these days. Families are important to me, not only because I am in the process of raising my children, but because I believe that healthy, strong families are the backbone of healthy, strong neighborhoods which leads to healthy, strong communities, and so on. I have had 6 years of experience with homeless people in Portland and often these people come from very dysfunctional families. By fostering strong family units, I believe we can prevent a lot of tragic stories that eventually lead people to the streets as well as to other destructive paths of life. By focusing on families, we can give children the best chance possible for a healthy life full of meaning, purpose, and relationships.
I will be volunteering this term at our local public elementary school, Oak Hills Elementary. Public schools are a key community element for families. Here is a link to the Oak Hills website: http://www3.beaverton.k12.or.us/oak_hills/. The PTO page (3rd link down on the left of the homepage) has a lot of information on activities that I am involved in. I will be helping with reading groups in the 1st grade classrooms, math groups in a 2nd grade classroom, teaching Art Literacy lessons to 2nd graders, facilitate a recess running program during 2nd grade lunch recess every Wednesday, attend PTO meetings, and be a reviewer for the Science Fair.
As I volunteer at the school, I want to learn more about how schools with strong parental involvement help foster healthy families. But what about schools that don’t have the luxury of lots of parental involvement? What can I learn through volunteering at my kids’ school, which is blessed with lots of parental help, that can translate to helping all schools create environments that would foster healthy family relationships and support systems?