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Retired teacher still works with kids

Beard puts in time for Discovery Station at Hagerstown

Beard puts in time for Discovery Station at Hagerstown

October 26, 2006|by CANDICE BOSELY

Name: Pat Beard

Age: 72

Address: Beard and her husband, Rodney, live in Hagerstown. They have three children and six grandchildren.

Occupation, or former occupation if retired: Beard retired in 1997 from teaching after working as an educator for 34 years. She taught - at various times over the years - kindergartners through fifth-graders. Her last job before retiring was at Funkstown Elementary School.

Where do you volunteer: Discovery Station at Hag-erstown

What prompted you to begin volunteering?: In college, Beard was a roommate of B. Marie Byers, the director of Discovery Station, and got involved with the project as the museum still was being planned for Hag-erstown.

She now volunteers at the museum all day on Thursdays, as well as on weekends. She greets groups and other visitors, explains what they might find interesting and also handles practical duties such as cleaning.

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She estimated she volunteers for up to 20 hours a week at the museum.

What are your rewards of volunteering?

Beard said she always has loved working with children, and is able to continue that passion with the museum.

"To see them enjoy the exhibits here, and also to help plan and talk about what exhibits would be good here," she said. Beard serves on Discovery Station's board of directors, and is a member of the marketing committee.

Bringing in hands-on exhibits is especially important for children, she said.

"I think (working with children) is what I was born to do. That sounds trite, but I truly enjoy being with kids," Beard said, and then lowered her voice to a whisper, "more than adults."

"I just prefer the honesty of kids," she said.

Does Discovery Station need additional volunteers? If so, in what areas?

Byers said that volunteers are crucial to the museum, which has no paid staff. People are needed to work the entry desk and in the gift shop, and to work on weekends.

Volunteers also are needed for technical skills such as setting up computers and helping with museum exhibits and displays, including working on artwork and signage.

Help is needed this winter because some volunteers head south for the winter, Byers said.

"We have quite a variety of needs. Good opportunities for people to use their skills," she said.

Discovery Station is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m.

Prospective volunteers may call Byers at 301-733-8999.

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