Monday, December 11, 2023

Loving God and neighbor without distinction: A pontifical institute of women religious of the Roman Catholic Church

Year of PeaceYOP columns

Aug. 7, 2015: How to spend more time with your child — and affect the lives of others as well, by Nicki Taylor-Morris


Nicki Taylor-Morris

Have you ever walked into the school your child attends and thought, “I don’t know half the people in here?” Has your child ever come home after school and talked about an adult you’ve never heard of who was working in his or her classroom that day, only to think again to yourself, “I don’t know the people who are around my child all day!”

This is exactly what happened to me four years ago when my son started kindergarten at Concordia Elementary School. I was so nervous for him to start school, but really excited at the same time. As the year progressed my son would come home and talk about his day and I quickly realized I had no clue what he was doing at the school — let alone who these people were that he was talking about.

I couldn’t wait for parent teacher conferences to come around, so I could get into his classroom and meet with his teacher and the staff with whom he was spending the majority of his day.

Man, was I naïve! The conference lasted about 10 minutes and I walked away with so much information that I couldn’t even think straight.

It was at that moment that I realized, IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY to get to know the people at the school, IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY to educate myself on what my son is doing all day, and IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY to get involved and give back to the place that helps me raise my child!

It is for that reason that when my good friend Holly Brown asked me to co-chair Parents in Education (PIE) at the elementary school I immediately said yes!

PIE is the parents’ group that raises money to give back to the teachers and students through funding field trips, helping with special projects in teachers’ rooms, and paying for playground equipment, technology, reading materials and any other request that a staff member might have.

Being part of this group has allowed me to get to know the staff at CES and other parents and as well as my son’s schoolmates. I have learned the way the school operates and more importantly, I have been able to volunteer at the school to spend special bonding time and moments with my child.

For me, it’s a no brainer. For every hour I give of my time to the school, I get so many more rewards in return!

PIE has so many volunteer opportunities for parents. We organize fundraisers, we help serve the meals to the students at the Fall BBQ and Thanksgiving Dinner, we organize a school carnival every other year, we have monthly meetings with teachers and parents, we organize a staff appreciation snack day to recognize those people who mean so much to our children… The list could go on and on.

PIE is always in need of parents to donate one hour of their time to help make phone calls, make a snack, make a flier, volunteer with teachers at the school, work a carnival game, serve a meal, punch cards at the school marathon, work a fun day or help sort fundraiser items. It’s only one hour of your time and the impact it has on your child and so many other children is immeasurable. I couldn’t imagine not being part of something that is so easy and fun and directly affects my child in so many ways.

The next time you see a flier in your child’s book bag about a PIE request or you get a phone call from a parent asking for your time, please say yes to volunteering! You have no idea how much your time is appreciated, by not only the other parents, but the teachers, staff and children as well.

To volunteer for PIE you can contact me at 785-614-1900. If you have an older child, don’t worry, your efforts are needed at his or her school, too. You can contact the middle school, junior high or high school offices to volunteer your time.


Nicki Taylor-Morris is the chair of Parents In Education at Concordia Elementary School.

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