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A  student presenting this year’s volunteer appreciation  gifts to Sr. Jean Zemliak, SSMI


Parent volunteers are one of the most important resources a school can have. Both public and private schools depend heavily on their volunteers to keep things running smoothly, but because private schools enjoy less government funding than public schools, they perhaps have a greater appreciation for the assistance that parent volunteers provide.



Parent volunteers have always been an important part of the successful operation of IHMS. Among other things, parent volunteers provide rides to field trips, organize hot lunches (such as hot-dog day), coach some of the school’s sports teams, help out with Bingo, and organize some of the larger school events such as the Annual School Tea, the Annual Fund Raising Dinner, and the Family Picnic.


Why Volunteer?

As stated on the 2018 – 2019 “Student Re-registration Information” form, families attending Immaculate Heart of Mary School are encouraged to volunteer and fund raise for two reasons
  1. To build community within the school
  2. To raise funds for the school to keep tuition rates as low as possible
Ironically, volunteering at IHMS is not voluntary – it’s compulsory. Parents who choose not to volunteer are responsible for paying a $375.00 “non-volunteer fee” at the beginning of the school year.


To celebrate the efforts of these hard working volunteers, IHMS held a “Volunteer Appreciation” program on Thursday, May 2 from 2:00 – 4:30 pm in the school gym. The theme of the event was “BELIEVE and our students ACHIEVE”. Since volunteering is a requirement for enrolment at IHMS, invitations to the event were sent out to every family in the school.


 Students, teachers, and about a dozen parent and grandparent volunteers gathered in the gym at 2:00 p.m. for the “Volunteer Appreciation” program.


The Volunteer Appreciation invitation that was emailed to every family in the school


The program began at 2:00 pm with a greeting and a thank-you to the volunteers from the school’s principal, Mr. Picklyk, followed by an opening prayer.


After welcoming everyone to this year’s Volunteer Appreciation Reception, Mr. Picklyk (the school’s principal) emphasized the importance of volunteering at our school by listing numerous examples from just the past week.


Thank you messages were also conveyed on behalf of the students by Anton A., the student council president, and on behalf of the staff by Mrs. Paulic and Mrs. Walton.


Messages of thanks were also conveyed to the volunteers by student council president Anton A. (top photo) and IHMS staff members Mrs. Paulic and Mrs. Walton (bottom two photos)


Students also played a direct role in the Volunteer Appreciation Program. Every year, either the odd or the even numbered grades are responsible for putting together a short presentation to thank the parent volunteers for their efforts. Since this was a year for odd numbered grades, the grade 1, 3, 5, and 7 classes either sang a song or recited a poem, or found some other way of saying “thank you” to the parent volunteers.


 The grade 1 class expressing their appreciation to the parent volunteers
The grade 3 class expressing their appreciation to the parent volunteers
The grade 5 class expressing their appreciation to the parent volunteers
The grade 7 class expressing their appreciation to the parent volunteers


Near the end of the program, two students from each class presented a small gift to all the volunteers. The gifts are different every year, and this year’s gift was an IHMS lunch bag.


This year’s gift to the volunteers was an lunch bag inscribed with the school’s name and this year’s theme – “BELIEVE and our students ACHIEVE”. Two students from each grade presented the gifts to the volunteers.


After the presentation of the gifts, everyone sang “Mnohiya Lita” to the volunteers before the students were dismissed back to their classrooms.



Students and staff singing “Mnohiya Lita” to the volunteers at the end of the program


Parent volunteers remained behind in the gym to enjoy a light snack of catered food and drink. Although the reception was scheduled to continue until 4:30 p.m., most volunteers left well before then, hopefully feeling appreciated!


 The volunteers seemed to enjoy the food platters prepared by Naleway Caterers



Petrykivka Art Display

Under the direction of Mrs. Wozny (an administrative assistant at IHMS), the grade 4-8 students recently participated in a Petrykivka art activity. The artwork, painted with vibrant acrylics on a canvas backing, was put on display in the gym during the Volunteer Appreciation program.







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