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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Woodland Hills Expands Volunteer Program

By: H.U.G.S. Leadership Team

The H.U.G.S. (Helping Unconditionally by Giving Support) Volunteer Program was launched in the spring of 2017 and was the creation of Dr. Deborah Vereen, the Assistant to the Superintendent (Family and Community Engagement). 

H.U.G.S mission statement:

The Woodland Hills School District will embrace the strengths of enthusiastic family members, community leaders, and neighborhood partners who are committed to teaming with us to develop and maintain volunteer initiatives throughout the district. 

Dr. Vereen recruited and trained 16 volunteers to give the program a great start in the district.  Upon the retirement of Dr. Vereen this summer, a group of H.U.G.S. Volunteers concerned about the life of the program offered to continue to develop and implement H.U.G.S. for the 2017-2018 school year.  These volunteers have attended Woodland Hills Community Day, as well as the Back-to-School Night events at each building and have now recruited over 40 new people for the program!  There will be several H.U.G.S. training events in the upcoming weeks to go over the program guidelines and to discuss scheduling.  After they are trained, the new volunteers will be ready to actively volunteer in all Woodland Hills buildings in various capacities.  
Possible volunteer opportunities will include interacting with students (reading with them, going over flash cards, etc.), clerical tasks (copying, cutting, laminating, etc.), building support (greeters, hall monitors, lunch room support, etc.), and special events support (field trips, classroom parties, community events, etc.), as well as district sporting events.  More volunteer opportunities will be added as the program grows and evolves.

The volunteers will set their own schedules and are under no obligation to volunteer for any minimum amount of time.  Some volunteers will be in the buildings weekly/monthly and will coordinate their activities more closely with classroom teachers and building administrators, while others will fill more of an “on-call” role and will be contacted periodically by the H.U.G.S. Leadership Team when one-time/special events arise. 

Enrollment for the program will be ongoing and training will be offered regularly while new people continue to sign up.  You are not required to be a H.U.G.S. Volunteer to be an active parent in your child’s classroom or PTO/PIE group.  H.U.G.S. merely offers a different/additional level of volunteerism and support to our district.  The district is dedicated to becoming a more open and welcoming place to families and community members.  For more information and to sign up for yourself, please visit our website: