Moore is what Rawlings needs
Published: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 at 2:30 p.m.
At M.K. Rawlings Elementary School, Kay Moore's name is synonymous with offering a helping hand.
Whether it's stuffing envelopes, assisting teachers, or rewarding students, "Ms. Kay," as the students call her, is there.
Moore, 55, is a petite, soft-spoken woman who has been volunteering at the school for five years, starting when her now 11-year-old grandson was a kindergarten student at the northeast Gainesville school. She has been rearing her grandson since he was only 3 months old. Volunteering is important to her because she wants to be involved in her grandson's education.
"I feel it's made a difference with my child. I enjoy doing this because it's fun and I love children. Parents will really see the difference in their child if they volunteer at their school. It makes the child happier and it makes them proud also. I feel it should be our job to do this for our children," Moore said.
Moore volunteers about 15 hours a week and sometimes more if needed. Some of her projects have included holiday programs for students, although her specialty is making bookmarks for students, which she hopes encourages them to read more. Since being at Rawlings, she has made more than 500 bookmarks for students.
This past Christmas holiday, Moore invited Santa Claus to the school and spearheaded a fund-raiser at the same time.
Parents were able to purchase photos of their children with St. Nick for only $3 with the funds benefiting the Parent Teacher Association. The money will be used to finance the school's Spring Carnival and for student activities.
Parents were also able to visit a clothing closet organized by Moore with gently used clothes available free of charge.
She wears many hats at Rawlings Elementary, serving as president of the PTA, Chess Club adviser, and helping with clerical work in the school's office.
Moore's recent project is serving as an instructor for kindergarten computer classes. State funding was cut two years ago and does not allow for a full-time computer specialist at the school. Moore opted to take the job as part of her volunteer hours. She said some of the computers are in need of repair, so to entertain students who are left without a computer, she reads to them.
She is well known around the school.
"I can't go anywhere without seeing students, waving at me, saying 'Hey Ms. Kay,' " Moore said, adding that not just the children, but teachers and staff as well also benefit from the small things she does.
"Parents think you need an education or special training to volunteer; that's not the case. I see how excited kids are when their parents are at the school helping, "Moore said.
In her spare time, she enjoys reading historical fiction and also is an artist. Her medium is leather and she specializes in making masks. She also enjoys spending time with her 11 grandchildren.
This year is bittersweet for Moore, who is in her last year of volunteering at the school, due to her grandson graduating from the fifth-grade this year.
Mary Lou Kodim, executive assistant at Rawlings Elementary, said Moore is a Godsend.
"She'll do anything we ask her to. She's wonderful and no matter what the project is she fills the bill," Kodim said.
Joyce Daniels, the principal at M.K. Rawlings Elementary said, "She works very hard and is dedicated. She makes sure students have a well-rounded education. We're a very special school to have her."
Teresa D. Southern can be reached at (352) 337-0373 or at email@example.com.
Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.
Comments are currently unavailable on this article