Hello S.A.G.E. Supporters!
We have lots of updates for you this month. Keep reading for more details.
Event Recap: Volunteer Appreciation ❤️
Our April Volunteer Appreciation event was a success! Thank you to all of our volunteers who joined us for food, refreshments, and a photo booth! We are so thankful for all your hard work and for being the driving force behind the S.A.G.E. mission.
What’s Coming Up❓
S.A.G.E. has an exciting event coming up on Monday, July 17 at North Hills Country Club: the Mad Golfer Golf Outing. All proceeds from this event will be in support of S.A.G.E.!
This event is run by Mr. Kal Katz, owner of the Mad Golfer Driving Range. Sign up now before it is too late! Tickets are $259.00 per player or $1000.00 for a foursome. This will include lunch, golf, dinner, and prizes. There are also sponsorship opportunities available.
S.A.G.E. Teacher Q&A with Tara Handfinger 💬
Q: What are some benefits for teachers when working with a S.A.G.E.?
A: Having Michele in the classroom is extremely helpful. Having a S.A.G.E. volunteer means that there is another adult in the room who is able to help the students. Personally, I am so lucky to have Michele because she is a former special education teacher who understands the needs of all students. She is able to identify various ways to help the students and makes the lesson run even more smoothly! It is also great to have Michele because we have spent years together in the classroom, so she fully understands my style of teaching and knows how I like to manage my students. She is so comfortable in the classroom and is willing to help in any way that is needed.
Q: What are some unexpected benefits you and your students experienced?
A: This is my first year teaching STEAM, so having to transition to different grades all day can be a bit challenging. However, when Michele is with me, the transition is even smoother because she helps get the materials ready for the incoming class. The students love having her in the room because they receive more feedback and support from an additional adult in the room.
Q: How does having a S.A.G.E. in the classroom enrich education?
A: In a classroom with so many different needs, it is so helpful to have additional support. Together we are able to get to more students in a shorter period of time.
Q: What are some tips you could share with teachers new to S.A.G.E.?
A: I would say that communication is key! Your S.A.G.E. volunteers want to help, so don’t be afraid to give them the freedom to support the children and help in any way that would benefit the students.
S.A.G.E. Volunteer Q&A with Michelle Brodsky 💬
Q: What motivated you to become a S.A.G.E.?
A: Knowing firsthand how beneficial an extra set of hands in the classroom can be, it is my way of "giving back," while also continuing to do what I love. I retired in June of 2020, after spending 3 months teaching virtually due to Covid. I felt like I never got to say my "goodbyes" to my students and colleagues.
Q: Can you please share some of your personal and professional experiences?
A: I'm a certified elementary and special education teacher with a Master's degree. I worked at Churchville Elementary for 32.5 years as a special education teacher, both in the resource room and in the inclusion classrooms. I spent 15 years in 5th grade. When Tara started working at Churchville, we co-taught 5th grade together. We were both moved into different grade levels, and I moved up to 6th grade for 10 years. I was then moved down to 4th grade and ultimately ended my career co-teaching with Tara in 4th grade. Funny how she started with me, and I ended with her.
Throughout my years at Churchville, I served as a union rep for our staff and served on many district and building committees. I was also in charge of fundraising for many charities in our building by organizing dress down days for teachers and holding annual lemonade stands on Field Day.
Q: How does your volunteer position match your expertise?
A: Being a special education teacher enables me to work with some of the more challenging students and allows me to differentiate instruction.
Q: What is it like being a S.A.G.E.? What do you do?
A: Tara is the STEAM teacher for Churchville, so I help out with a 1st grade class and for a portion of 3rd grade. Her curriculum is based on science and technology, so most of the time I assist students with laptops to create their projects. I offer individual help or work with groups when they are doing team projects.
In addition, I have been volunteering at The Nights 4 Knowledge which is a district-wide initiative to help students with math. Due to Covid and virtual learning, a lot of children in the district fell behind on basic skills. I work with 4th grade students (one on one) practicing math facts and reviewing concepts they are currently learning.
Q: What are some of the things you most enjoy about being a SAGE?
A: Tara is a very dynamic teacher, so I love to see the activities she plans for the students. Since I have only taught the intermediate grades, I enjoy having the opportunity to work with the younger ones. I also love seeing my former colleagues.
Q: What most surprised you about being a S.A.G.E.?
The only surprising thing to me is how many teachers do not take advantage of this great organization.
Q: What do you feel students learn from having you be a part of their educational experience?
A: I am able to offer one on one help to some of the struggling students.
Q: What have students taught you?
A: Believe it or not, I sometimes have to ask them for help with technology. It is amazing how proficient some of the students are with some of the applications.
Q: What do you most look forward to when you are about to volunteer?
A: I look forward to learning the new technology and applications students are using. During the Math Night Program, I look forward to how much students enjoy practicing math through fun games. They always state how much fun they had during our session.
Q. What advice do you have for other seniors considering becoming a S.A.G.E.?
A: There are so many different opportunities in the buildings to work with different subjects or to assist the teachers with other tasks. Working with children can be such a rewarding experience.
What Do First Grade Students Love About S.A.G.E. Volunteer, Michelle Brodsky? 💬
We asked first graders what they love most about Mrs. Brodsky, and these were their thoughts:
She is helpful!
She is kind!
She loves us!
She is a nice teacher!
She tells us the right things to do!
She helps us log on to our computers!
She helps us in Fabmaker Studio!
She gives us rewards and hints!
She makes things fun!
We hope she comes back next year to 2nd grade to help us again!!!!!!!!
S.A.G.E. Is Expanding...
S.A.G.E. has been partnering with several school districts to expand the program in the fall. Keep your eyes peeled for more information as we begin to approach the 2023-2024 school year!
Donate to Help Support Our Mission!
Our board aims to continue sparking unique and meaningful intergenerational relationships every single day. Your generosity provides us with the tools to expand this mission.
To make a one-time or monthly donation, visit the donation page on our website.
Volunteers: Share Your Story on Our Website! 💻
And that's a wrap! 2022 is over, but we'd love to hear about your S.A.G.E. experiences over the last year. Share your volunteer story with us on our website!