By KAITLYN NAPLES
There have been a lot of changes in the school district over the last year, especially with the district’s Family Resource Center, which now operates in three schools.
Every year, the Bristol Family Resource Center hands out a few awards to volunteers and teachers that have made an exceptional impact on the center in the past year.
“It’s the people that make a difference and create a strong partnership and link between the schools, families and the community,” Director of the Family Resource Center Linda Rich said at last Friday’s recognition breakfast at Nuchies in Forestville.
A set of parents with children at South Side School, who are new to the district, received the Exceptional Parent Volunteer award last week. Paul and Sara Fregeau “wasted no time getting involved in the Family Resource Center,” South Side School Principal Steven Woznicki said, adding that the Fregeau’s help with filling backpacks and are always “willing to help” without even being asked.
The Quota Club was recognized for its countless volunteer hours in the local community and the Family Resource Center and was the recipient of the Amazing Resources Award. The club always helps with donating shoes and supplies to the students who benefit from the Family Resource Center, and have been helping the center out for over six years.
Receiving the Admirable Teacher Award this year was Kristen Varano, who is a teacher at Greene-Hills School. Principal Scott Gaudet said Varano “goes above and beyond” for her school, fellow teachers, and her students. He said she is always recruiting new volunteers and getting parents involved in any way they can, and she organizes the sponsorship program for the holidays, and also hosts the Reading is Fundamental program.
The Greene-Hills Human Services Club, which has 11 members, received the Extraordinary Youth Volunteers award last week, and was recognized for all of its efforts to the school community. Gaudet said the club helped build a playhouse for the Family Resource Center, and runs a bookshare program, and volunteers at many other events.
Mary Lou Grendziszewski, community liaison from Shop-Rite, is no stranger to helping out where she can in the local community and school system. Rich said Grendziszewski “is always willing to help, and is always smiling,” and was the recipient of the Outstanding Community Champion award.
Rich said Shop Rite is always helping its local communities and embraces the community concepts so much so that it created the community liaison position.
“They couldn’t have picked a better person” to fill that position, Rich said about Grendziszewski.
Rich said she is involved in so many ways in the district and community, like organizing classes for families to attend and learn about shopping on a budget and nutrition, and more.
“She works so hard, and never seems to tire,” Rich said of Grendziszewski.