“A unique community.” These are the words Amanda Haines uses to describe the school. Mother to a fourth-grader and a second-grader at WC, Haines knows from first-hand experience. She explains, “WC is a unique community–a loving, serving, grace-filled community. If someone is in need, we wrap our arms around them and care for them.” This type of “unique community” is exactly what is needed in the present moment. At a time when many people are sick, hurting, stretched-thin, and struggling to manage the surprises that life continues to bring, this type of community is indispensable. Having experienced the strength and love of the school community, Haines has a heart to create deeper connections among WC families and to welcome new-to-WC families. In her role on the Parent-Teacher Fellowship (PTF) leadership team, she endeavors to provide opportunities for those very things.
WC’s Parent-Teacher Fellowship exists to engage the WC community by facilitating fellowship, encouraging faculty and staff, and serving one another. Rather than a parent organization focused on fundraising, WC’s PTF is dedicated to serving the school. The 2021-22 PTF Leadership team has seven members, comprised of Lower and Upper School staff and parents. For any WC parent interested in connecting with others, encouraging the teachers and staff, or serving in some capacity at the school, talking with someone on the PTF Leadership team is an excellent place to start. There are many ways for parents to get involved through volunteering, and the PTF serves to facilitate many of those opportunities.
One of the PTF’s areas of focus is facilitating fellowship opportunities–specific times and places to welcome families into this “unique community.” Just last week, the PTF hosted a “stay and play” playdate for new Lower School families–a brief time to gather together outdoors to meet and chat. They hope to host more of these after-school playdates throughout the year for parents to come and connect while their kids play. In a typical school year, the PTF Leadership team hosts similar events such as Dads and Donuts, Grandparents Day, Share the Ware, Family Spirit Night, and assists with school-wide events like the All-School Pep Rally, and the All-School Tailgate.
Another major area of emphasis for the PTF is encouraging faculty and staff. With over 100 teachers and staff members, this is no small task. The dedicated, sacrificial people that make up WC’s faculty and staff are the lifeblood of the school, and it is a joy to show them appreciation and gratitude for their selfless work. The PTF aims to do this in all sorts of ways, big and small. On a monthly basis, they coordinate treats and notes for every teacher and staff member. They’ve also taken on jobs such as renovating a workroom for the K-2 teachers and updating the Upper School teachers’ lounge.
For any parent that is interested in participating as a volunteer in PTF’s work and projects, there is now a convenient way to connect. Those interested can simply fill out this Volunteer Interest form, and a PTF representative will make contact as opportunities come about. One of the neat things about volunteering in the work of the PTF is that they aim to match volunteers’ giftings and availability with school needs and opportunities. If someone enjoys writing cards and would like to do that as a way of showing appreciation to WC teachers and staff, PTF facilitates that. If someone sees a need to be filled and has a heart to fill it (such as the renovation of the K-2 workroom), PTF facilitates that. If someone loves to bake and wants to be a blessing to the faculty and staff in that capacity, the PTF can facilitate that. If a parent has a unique idea of ways to connect families, encouraging the faculty, or serve one another in the school, the PTF welcomes them.
The reality that WC is a unique community is a testimony to the presence of God at work in the lives of those within the school community. He is the source of life from which we draw living water. It is He that sustains us and gives us strength for every season, no matter how difficult. In a mysterious and sweet way, He invites us into that life-giving, strength-sharing reality in which we can extend that to those around us.