WESTBOROUGH, Mass. – Ever wonder what makes enrichment programs at local public schools tick? Most of it comes from the time and dedication of volunteers in parent groups like Michele Calderone and the Armstrong Parent Group.
Calderone is an active member of the Armstrong Parent Group as well as a full time Charge Nurse in the Cardiology Unit at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Her family moved to Westborough three years ago and she decided to get involved in the school her four boys attend. Recently, Calderone put together a CPR certification class for the staff members at Armstrong Elementary School.
“I’m just making sure everyone’s safe; my family and friends,” Calderone said. “I also want to make sure my kids are getting the best out their school experience.”
What started as a good idea for Armstrong soon seemed appealing to other schools. Calderone has seven classes planned for Armstrong so far and Fales Elementary School would like her to cold CPR classes there as well.
“My goal is to get all of the Armstrong staff certified. I was surprised when all the classes filled up because I know a four hour class is a lot of time to give up,” Calderone said. “I figured it would make a safer community for all of us at the schools.”
The CPR certification classes at Armstrong were made possible by a donation given to Calderone by the Armstrong Parent Group to buy all the necessary supplies. The $1,000 went towards a mannequin, the artificial lungs, face shields, masks, a rented DVD, certification cards, cleaner and books.
Calderone said the classes wouldn’t be possible without the donations.
“When I presented the idea to the parent group they were all really receptive. I definitely needed their support,” Calderone said. “The average class is between $60 and $75 but this is free.”
Other than the CPR certification classes, Calderone spends a lot of her time organizing events for the Armstrong Parent Group. In March she helps run the ice cream social, in April she helps with kindergarten screening, in October she helps with the autumn benefit and Candy for a Cause, and in December she coordinates the Armstrong Holiday Shop.
“For the Holiday Store I start looking for vendors in the summer. I write up letters and go to businesses to look ask for donations for other events. I’m kind of working at this all year round,” Calderone said.
For the upcoming Ice Cream Social, Calderone asked six different businesses for donations. She’s looking for things like ice cream, sprinkles and other toppings for the event.
“We ask businesses for the donations so the Ice Cream Social can be free this year,” Calderone said.
For more information on the Armstrong Parent Group and their events, visit their website.