VISTA- JoAnne Peden   Leave a comment

During the 2015-2016 grant year one of our major goals for the First Teacher Tutor Training Program is to complete a film version of each of our 5 tutor trainings: Pre-K to Kinder Reading, Pre-K to Kinder Math, Read & Succeed, Math Paths, and Elementary Writing/Word Sorts. With the assistance of VISTA Mikel Luster, VISTA JoAnne Peden is working diligently to plan, video, and edit these videos and with JoAnne’s Letter of Appointment at the University of Nevada Reno (UNR), she is able to utilize equipment through UNR’s Media Center. Our teachers Jeannie Adams and Karen McGee; students and parents in the WCSD, and VISTA Melissa Ortega, who provides Spanish language interpretation, JoAnne is making great strides towards her goal. The beginning of the 2016-2017 school year should see DVDs in the hands of WCSD teachers and staff to hand out to their parents and families to support student learning in the home. Volunteer Services will also be putting the videos on our WCSD Volunteer Services webpage.

More about VISTA JoAnne Peden… JoAnne is quite the accomplished documentary film maker with Rabbit Boss (Washoe Tribe), Happy Life: A Paiute Woman Remembers (Pyramid Lake), People of the Marsh (Fallon Tribe). JoAnne also partnered to create museum exhibits for both the Washoe and Paiute Tribes and JoAnne served as an Indian Education Advisor for the WCSD Title VII program for 12 years. Best of all, JoAnne is a serving VISTA Alumna having served with the Reno Sparks Indian Colony’s VISTA program in the 1980s. She helped the RSIC with the Hungry Valley Colony Expansion and as a grant writer on the solar hot water heater installation. We all feel very fortunate to have JoAnne on board with us for a VISTA service term.

VISTA JoAnne Peden

VISTA JoAnne Peden

If you would like to find out more about our First Teacher Tutor Trainings, please visit our website at:

VISTA Leader- Tracy Sherwood   Leave a comment

VISTA Leader Tracy Sherwood is currently serving her 3rd service year at WCSD Volunteer Services with the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Tracy is a wife of a retired Nevada Air National Guard member, a parent of a WCSD freshman, and has been a dedicated WCSD school and district volunteer for over 10 years now. When she is not performing her VISTA duties at Volunteer Services, you can find her advocating for family engagement issues with the WCSD Council on Family Engagement, facilitating in-service classes for WCSD teachers and staff on Family Engagement, teaching parents about the usefulness of the Infinite Campus Parent Portal, and finding ways to support student success in her son’s school. Tracy is the go-to person at Volunteer Services if you are interested in attending one of our First Teacher Tutor Trainings, scheduling a First Teacher Tutor Training at your school or community organization, with all things social media in the department, and generally offering help where it is needed. Tracy is also the contact person at WCSD if you, or someone you know, is interested in becoming an AmeriCorps VISTA. The next time you stop by 494 Poplar Street to fill out your yearly volunteer application or drop off books at our convenient book drop, don’t forget to stop and say “Hi!” to Tracy too! You can reach Tracy by phone at 775-348-0345 or email at

VISTA Leader Tracy Sherwood

VISTA Leader Tracy Sherwood

Resolution Time is Upon Us!   Leave a comment

All of us here at Washoe County School District Volunteer Services hope that you and yours have a Jolly Holiday Season in 2015!  As you welcome in the new year, most will be considering their resolutions for the upcoming year.  How about making a resolution to share your highly valued skills with the Washoe County School District?  At Volunteer Services we are constantly looking for volunteers with all kinds of skills to support student success, not only in the classrooms, but behind the scenes too!  Dex Thomas, our Volunteer Services Program Technician, is available to meet with you and work diligently to place you in a volunteer opportunity that is rewarding for you, the department, and the students.  If you would like to volunteer with your group (civic, church, etc.), he can assist with that too!  So, as the New Year rolls in, don’t put off contacting Dex and let him help reach your volunteering goals.  Dex can be reached at 775-348-0222 or .


Volunteer Services will be open from 7:30am-2pm on December 31st and closed on January 1.   Volunteer Services wishes you and yours a Happy Holiday Season!

Volunteer Services Service Enterprise Initiative   Leave a comment

During the 8 December 2015 Board of Trustees Meeting, Volunteer Services presented information about their progress during the Service Enterprise Certification. Volunteer Services is hoping to complete the certification in April 2016, we will be the first school district nationally to complete the process. A Service Enterprise is an organization that fundamentally leverages volunteers and their skills across all levels of the organization to successfully deliver on its social mission. Volunteer Services has completed their assessment in March 2015, the required training in April 2015, and are now working throughout the rest of 2015/2016 to complete the goals outlined in our action plan. To date, we have some significant success like pairing volunteers with Volunteer Services staff, increase communication throughout our volunteer community, creating job descriptions for our volunteer opportunities, created onboarding processes for new volunteers, finalizing marketing materials for recruitment efforts, providing classes/trainings/orientations for all volunteers, and increasing volunteer recognition efforts. One goal of our Service Enterprise action plan is to share information about the services that Volunteer Services provides to all WCSD departments so that volunteers can be better utilized throughout the school district. If you’ve yet to receive a request from the Volunteer Services department about volunteer opportunities, please contact Dex Thomas to set up a meeting at 775-348-0222. If you would like more information about Service Enterprise, please visit the Points of Light website.…/about

Gift Wrapping at Barnes and Noble during holidays   Leave a comment

The WCSD VISTAs and fellow volunteers will be at Barnes and Noble during the last days before Christmas to wrap your holiday purchases.  Gift wrapping is free, of course, but a small donation always goes a long way at Volunteer Services.  All donations that the volunteers collect will be put back into the programs that Volunteer Services provides:  Read & Succeed Incentive Book Program, supplies to support the First Teacher Tutor Training Program, and buying much needed supplies to support the Volunteer Services office.  Come out and say “Hi” to Lisa Marie, Jennifer, JoAnne, Meghan, Jazmine, Sandi, Mikel, and the other volunteers who will be out expertly wrapping books and other gifts.  We always love to see our Volunteer Services supporters!

Barnes and Noble Gift Wrapping Schedule:

22 December 2015 from 5-9pm

23 December 2015 from 9am-9pm

24 December 2015 from 1-6pm


If you are interested in the First Teacher Tutor Trainings, Pre-K through 5th grade Reading, Math, and Writing, you are in luck!  Volunteer Services will resume Community Volunteer trainings in January (14 January- Read & Succeed, 21 January- Math Paths, & 28 January- Elementary Writing/Word Sorts).  If you, your school, your organization, or teacher is interested in hosting a Pre-K Reading or Math, Read & Succeed, Math Paths, or Elementary Writing/Word Sorts Tutor Training, please contact Tracy Sherwood at 775-348-0345 or .


Volunteer Services will be open from 7:30am to 2pm on December 24th and closed on December 25th.  We will be open from 7:30am-2pm on December 31st and closed on January 1.   Volunteer Services wishes you and yours a Happy Holiday Season!

Volunteer Services Spotlight- Joan Gabrielli   Leave a comment

Volunteering is about giving your time for others and that is exactly what Joan Gabrielli does. Joan volunteers in our office a couple of days per week and has helped us tremendously. She reviews our documents and fixes mistakes, or gives us a perspective we otherwise wouldn’t see or have. Joan has become such a vital part of our team that we will wait to move forward on projects so she can have input and give us a better peace of mind on what we are doing. Not only does Joan help us, but she also volunteers at her grandchildren’s school when needed. Joan is what giving your time for others looks like.

Volunteer Joan Gabrielli

Volunteer Joan Gabrielli

Posted December 18, 2015 by WCSD Volunteers in WCSD Volunteers

Volunteer Services Facts- Did you know? vol.2   Leave a comment

Did you know that Volunteer Services hosts one of Nevada’s largest AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers In Service to America) programs and is the AmeriCorps Center for all AmeriCorps programs at Washoe County School District?  These special volunteers are housed at Volunteer Services and support volunteer trainings and summer programs.  We currently have 9 VISTAs and are looking to bring 2 more on board.  During summer we are able to brings several more on board for 9 weeks to help with tutoring, office support, and Food Bank of Northern Nevada meal programs.  If you are interested in the VISTA program, becoming a VISTA, please contact Tracy Sherwood at 775-348-0345 or

Volunteer Services will be open from 7:30am to 2pm on December 24th and closed on December 25th.  We will be open from 7:30am-2pm on December 31st and closed on January 1.   Volunteer Services wishes you and yours a Happy Holiday Season!



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