Each year, the Florida Department of Education sponsors the statewide “Outstanding School Volunteer Award” competition to recognize the many school volunteers who give of themselves unselfishly to help students and schools. A panel of judges selected Richard Birmingham as the Osceola School District’s “Adult Volunteer of the Year.”
Richard is a Heart of Florida United Way VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) volunteer who was placed at Central Avenue Elementary in December 2012 to help with building the capacity of parent involvement at the school. VISTAs are part of United Way’s Together for Tomorrow education program, which supports 14 schools across Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties. AmeriCorps VISTA members work in partnership with schools to recruit, train and support volunteers to help improve student attendance, behavior, course performance and access to college.
Richard is a strong advocate for parent involvement and partakes in all school-wide workshops and trainings. As a member of the School Advisory Council, he has helped recruit other members and has helped with the School Improvement Plan.
Richard has also helped to increase volunteers for the school district as a whole by recruiting faith-based members from local churches and organizations. He has helped with training these faith-based members on being a volunteer, and has developed a good relationship with students and staff. In addition, he has partnered with the OASIS Department and the Education Foundation to help in the recruitment efforts for volunteers.
Whether serving as a mentor, tutor, classroom assistant, or in a variety of other ways, Together for Tomorrow volunteers are part of a team effort striving to help our students succeed. For more information or to get involved, please contact Heath Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407-429-2170.