SBLI believes that supporting our communities is fundamental to the families we promise to protect


  • Katie Pierson<br>Minnetonka, MN

    Katie Pierson
    Minnetonka, MN

    Sep 25, 2012

    The cafeteria at L.H. Tanglen Elementary in Minnetonka, Minn., can be a pretty noisy place around lunchtime—but that doesn’t seem to faze parents, a lot of them dads, from dropping in for an impromptu meal with their child. Although some people may not consider... Read More

  • Liz Steventon<br>Rochester, VT

    Liz Steventon
    Rochester, VT

    Sep 18, 2012

    "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night" begins the famous quotation attributed to Greek historian Herodotus more than 2,500 years ago. It’s a tribute to patience and persistence, traits the people of Rochester, Vt., exhibited in spades late last... Read More

  • Alvaro Rojas<br>Aurora, CO

    Alvaro Rojas
    Aurora, CO

    Sep 4, 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.... Read More

  • Cathy Boese<br>Andover, MA

    Cathy Boese
    Andover, MA

    Aug 21, 2012

    "Leaders are made, they are not born," according to American football coach Vince Lombardi's oft-repeated quote. Cathy Boese, PTO president at Bancroft Elementary in Andover, Mass., would tend to agree with that sentiment. This mother of four was so busy tending... Read More

  • Tina DeClue<br>Columbia, MO

    Tina DeClue
    Columbia, MO

    Aug 7, 2012

    The word "family" pops up frequently in Tina DeClue's conversations, whether she's talking about her own home life, her job as a school-based coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters, or her countless volunteer efforts at Shepard Boulevard Elementary in Columbia,... Read More

  • Rosita Gonzalez<br>Madison, WI

    Rosita Gonzalez
    Madison, WI

    Jun 26, 2012

    Rosita Gonzalez is a big believer in the idea that it takes a village to raise a child. She has worked to build a stronger village at her school, making it easier for families with transportation issues or limited English to feel like a part of the community. ... Read More

  • Sabina Ernst<br>Montclair, NJ

    Sabina Ernst
    Montclair, NJ

    Jun 12, 2012

    When Renaissance Middle School at Rand students spot Sabina Ernst in the hallway, they expect something fun to happen. The veterinarian and gardener might be there to share animal x-rays, lead them in bird-watching, or help harvest herbs in the school garden. ... Read More

  • Xraka White<br>Houston, TX

    Xraka White
    Houston, TX

    May 29, 2012

    Many school volunteers toil behind the scenes in relative obscurity...and prefer it that way. They have no desire to hold positions of power or lead the way, except maybe by example. Xraka White considered herself one of those people. When her son, Ethan, began... Read More

  • Shawna Crist<br>Niceville, FL

    Shawna Crist
    Niceville, FL

    May 15, 2012

    It's no small coincidence that Shawna Crist hails from a town called Niceville. Named the outstanding adult volunteer in a regional school recognition program this year, it's mainly her ongoing efforts to make things, well, nice that landed her the coveted title.... Read More

  • Judith Wencel<br>Wichita, KS

    Judith Wencel
    Wichita, KS

    May 1, 2012

    For many of us, the mere mention of the middle school years invokes memories ranging from the merely awkward to the truly terrible. Wichita, Kan., resident Judith Wencel's own recollections aren't especially favorable. Yet she credits that period as her inspiration... Read More

  • Audrey Covello<br>Schererville, IN

    Audrey Covello
    Schererville, IN

    Apr 17, 2012

    Exercise enthusiasts share a little secret— the undeniable high they experience after a good workout. Once those endorphins kick in, they feel positively energized. Audrey Covello is familiar with the sensation— except this mother of two and dedicated volunteer... Read More

  • Ed Bala<br>Fayetteville, NC

    Ed Bala
    Fayetteville, NC

    Apr 3, 2012

    Every school could use a goodwill ambassador, and Ponderosa Elementary School of Mathematics in Fayetteville, N.C., has found one in Ed Bala. He's been volunteering there for more than 12 years, remaining long after his own two children moved onto other schools.... Read More

  • Lynne Millar<br>Tracy, CA

    Lynne Millar
    Tracy, CA

    Mar 20, 2012

    Students at George Kelly Elementary in Tracy, Calif., erupt into cheers on the days an art docent arrives in their classroom to lead a lesson. Twelve of these crafty docent parent volunteers regularly fan out across the grades (K-8) dispensing art history facts... Read More

  • Cathi Knickrehm<br>Oak Park, IL

    Cathi Knickrehm
    Oak Park, IL

    Mar 6, 2012

    Once upon a time, the exterior landscape at Hatch Elementary in Oak Park, Ill., left much to be desired. Aside from a few benches near the playground area, there was really no reason to linger. That changed when mother of two Cathi Knickrehm spoke up at a PTO meeting... Read More

  • Gary Parkes<br>Woodstock, GA

    Gary Parkes
    Woodstock, GA

    Feb 21, 2012

    These days, if you have something to promote, you'd better have a publicist or you're sunk. Think actors, athletes, brand-name products, vacation destinations, you name it. Everyone or everything, including schools, could use a little spin to gain attention and... Read More

  • Jeanette Tanafranca<br>Troy, MI

    Jeanette Tanafranca
    Troy, MI

    Feb 7, 2012

    Hang around during pickup or drop-off time at Bemis Elementary in Troy, Mich., and you'll hear the usual hubbub of hellos, goodbyes, and don't-forget-your-backpacks. Listen more closely and you'll realize these exchanges are frequently conducted in a variety of... Read More

  • Joanna Bradshaw<br>Fort Meade, MD

    Joanna Bradshaw
    Fort Meade, MD

    Jan 24, 2012

    Some people love scrapbooking, while others live to scuba dive or run marathons. Others are passionate about pursuits that benefit the community at large. Such is the case with Joanna Bradshaw, a mom of four who lives on a military base in Fort Meade, Md. Her passion?... Read More

  • Sunnie Robles-Schmidt<br>Santa Rosa, CA

    Sunnie Robles-Schmidt
    Santa Rosa, CA

    Jan 10, 2012

    The midweek blues never quite get hold of 2nd grader Bailey Schmidt. That's because Wednesday is the day her mom, Sunnie Robles-Schmidt, regularly volunteers in her classroom. Afterward the two will often eat lunch together in the quad at Spring Creek Matanzas... Read More