VOLUNTEER HANDYMAN AND CHAPERONE
September 04, 2012
You'll never hear the common lament "good help is hard to find" being uttered around campus at CedarWood Christian Academy. That's because this small Aurora, Colo., school is fortunate enough to have parent volunteer Alvaro Rojas ready and willing to lend a hand.
Assistant to the administrator Ruth Oborny likes to say Rojas is the handyman they do not have on staff. She adds that the best part about him is there's no need to tell him what's broken or needs attention. For instance, he'd been noticing that the playground lawn was starting to look a little scraggly each morning when he dropped off his sons at school. So one day he simply brought his lawn mower from home and set about mowing it. "They do such a great job educating my children, I felt it was a small way for me to contribute something," he says.
Rojas has been spotted shoveling the school's driveway after a snowfall. He also painted lines on the basketball court and repaired the net's height adjustment feature so all kids, both short and tall, could shoot hoops. He's been known to pitch in with cleaning projects. "My wife and I were so happy to find a school like this...to see its spirit and parent involvement. We're all doing things we as parents have the capacity to do because we're committed to our kids' education," he says.
Despite holding down one full-time job as a minister at a local church and another as a part-time graphic designer, Rojas still manages to find time to chaperone a field trip or two. It's always worth it, he says, reflecting on just how happy it made his son David to have his dad tag along on a recent 3rd grade sledding expedition to one of Colorado's major recreation areas.
"It's important for me to set an example for my children," Rojas says. "On the days I do something for the school, I feel like they're proud of me and proud for their friends to see me."
Oborny considers Rojas a true partner in his children's education. She's says he's the kind of parent every school dreams of having. Yet he remains self-effacing. A lawn mowed here, a driveway shoveled there, a paint job to spruce things up...it's no big deal to this volunteer who admits that the best reward is knowing he's doing his small part for a bigger purpose.
Writer: June Allan Corrigan
Photo: Angela Wagstaff