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Seniors urged to take mutually benefical step

Paul Curry is a local STEP volunteer. Curry has helped Prairie View Elementary School Music Teacher Lori Fuller.1 / 3
Bob and Dorothy Hallock have been STEP workers.2 / 3
STEP Volunteer Rhoda Foley at work in a classroom.3 / 3

Local school officials are encouraging senior citizens to join the STEP (Senior Tax Exchange Program), which can benefit themselves as well as students and staff.

Now in its third year, Ellsworth’s version of the program has been populated by approximately 20 volunteers in the past, according to information provided by the district here. They share their talents while working for the schools in various capacities and, in exchange for work completed, receive a specified payment up to the value of their local school property taxes.

“We will work with people to find a good spot or fit for them,” Superintendent Barry Cain said.

Staffers identify possible areas of need in the district for placement purposes, listing them on the STEP page on the schools’ web site. Some needs to date have included: painting projects, lunch room supervision, library supervisor, E-Fit room supervisor, classroom support, field trip chaperone, Adventure Outdoor Learning Day set-up, installing coat hooks, sharing and demonstration of art projects, computer skills, Panther Den help, paper filing and basic landscaping. Assistance with events like the Day of Service and Forest Fun Run is needed, too.

After completing an initial application process, STEP applicants will be interviewed by building administration. The interview is to determine the strengths and interests of the applicant, the applicant’s availability, and find a good placement to be enjoyable for the applicant plus appropriate for students and staff. It also allows for discussion about confidentiality, student behavior, emergency procedures, district policies and what to expect in today’s schools.

For more please read the Sept. 11 Herald print version. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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