Bee in Turlock: Volunteer chaplains sought for local schools

A unique program will place chaplains in three Turlock elementary schools this fall, and organizers are seeking volunteers to fill those roles.

As reported by The Modesto Bee’s Nan Austin, Turlock Unified School District trustees earlier this month considered a contract with Turlock Chaplaincy Inc.

The group, which also provides volunteer chaplains to the police and fire departments, aims to provide trained critical incidence management chaplains as needed on a volunteer basis. The chaplains must pass background checks.

Tom Sperry, coordinator of the program, said in a newsletter, “Turlock Chaplaincy is very excited they now have an agreement with Turlock Unified School District to provide on-campus services for care during a crisis for students, parents and staff.”

During the pilot project, chaplains will have a daily presence on the campuses of Wakefield, Cunningham and Crowell schools to provide “a daily presence on campus to provide support in any crisis situation. The goal will be to assess critical incidence and aid in making sure all individuals involved in a crisis get the care that they need.”

Volunteers won’t necessarily be ordained. Sperry asks anyone interested in participating to contact him via email at tsperry@aol.com.

Retired elementary school principal Robert Evan Foster of Turlock has published a book for parents on becoming informed about their children’s education.

“Does Your Child’s Teacher Measure Up?” was released in paperback by Amazon this spring and sells for $8.95. It includes chapters on what discipline and instructional strategies should include and gives a checklist for lessons observed and teacher quality indicators.

It also covers homework, parental involvement and advocacy.

This week’s Family Friday at the Carnegie Arts Center is a sock hop.

The free, monthly events are designed at giving children and their families a taste of the arts in a low-key environment. This week, center representatives said, Tami Stark-McQueen, founder and dance instructor with One Performing Arts Company, will lead everyone in some “fun and funky dances from the 1950s forward. Kids of all ages (and that means parents and grandparents, too) will have fun bunny hopping and jiving to some classic tunes.”

The event starts at 7 p.m. Friday at the Carnegie, 250 N. Broadway. For more information, contact Lisa McDermott at (209) 632-5761, or go online to www.carnegieartsturlock.org.

With National Night Out approaching – this year’s event is set Aug. 5 – the Turlock Police Department’s crime prevention office has scheduled an appreciation dinner and planning meeting for July 24. The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Crane Park.

Invited to the meeting are coordinators and block party captains of local parties, which are designed to help neighbors get to know one another and dissuade criminal activity in their areas. For more information on the program, contact Crime Prevention Officer Michelle Backeroff at (209) 656-3153.

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