National Volunteer Week 2023: Weaving Us Together

One of our ESL teachers, Larraine Ratzlaff, shared with us some words of praise for the volunteers who assist her and her students every day.

My GGP volunteers have come from a diverse background: I have worked with high school students, university students, people studying to become ESL teachers, and retirees. In each case, the connections between the students and the volunteers has been noteworthy.

In the classroom, they become an integral part of the learning environment. Sometimes I can’t imagine doing my job without them. So many volunteers have gone above and beyond by taking a special interest in helping clients outside of the classroom. This might be in the form of phone calls just to chat, going for coffee, shopping, walks etc.

I am currently working with six volunteers and would like to thank each of them for being committed, kind, open, interested in learning about the students, authentic, for sharing their personal experiences and stories with the students, and for caring about the students’ success in English and in life.

Dale Couet facilitates our in-school Homework Help program and speaks highly of the volunteers this program relies on.

GGP Volunteers have been, and continue to be, essential to the Homework Help Program. In Homework Help, students attend the program from Elementary schools across Saskatoon. These students need support beyond simply checking their homework; they rely on tutoring and emotional support in subject areas they feel less comfortable in and people to be there to talk to as consistent and reliable friends.

Helping each child with their unique needs would be near impossible without the support of the 24 volunteers that have spent their time attending both physical schools and virtually over Zoom. These volunteers have built relationships with the students in the program, allowing them to excel in school and come out of their shells.

Marissa Evans is a Program Facilitator at GGP who runs a few of our popular digital literacy programs with the help of volunteers.

I’ve had several volunteers in my programs here at GGP, and the success of these programs is highly dependent on their help. They’ve made connections with clients and staff to become indispensable members of the GGP family. For my computer classes, specifically, I’ve been so lucky to work with several amazing volunteers.

Their patience, expertise, and positivity have been key factors in the great experiences we have in these classes. They’re always ready to help, ready to answer questions, and ready to offer their own insights that enrich our discussions. To all my volunteers: Thank you! Your presence is what makes GGP shine as an outstanding example of caring service delivery.


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