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Ask the expert

August 15, 2010

Q: I'm a senior and want to volunteer with school children. What's the best way to get involved?

A: Richard Wright, communications officer for Washington County Public Schools, said the school system welcomes people of all ages who would like to volunteer. Wright said the best way to volunteer is to contact the school directly. He said volunteers can work with the school's principal.

Hannah Cramer, Commission on Aging deputy director and RSVP director, said the Commission on Aging is always looking for potential school volunteers.

RSVP is a volunteer organization that helps those 55 and older find volunteering opportunities.

Cramer said if the school is not one of RSVP's "stations," or what the organization call the schools, then the RSVP coordinator will contact the school's officials to find out the current volunteer needs.

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She said volunteers with RSVP usually work with first and second-graders, tutoring them in reading or sometimes math.

Cramer said about 30 seniors volunteered last year for the program who were assigned to nearly 18 elementary schools.

If the volunteer is at least 55 years of age, he or she can join RSVP, which might entitle them for reimbursement of travel or meal expenses and various types of insurance coverage.

To volunteer, call Cramer at 301-790-0275, ext. 209.

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