Sara Zaranski, a parent volunteer at Robert Moton Elementary School, was one of twenty-four parents honored at the Eighth Annual Parent Involvement Matters Awards Celebration, which was held on Friday, June 5, 2015, at Martin’s West.
The Parent Involvement Matters Award (PIMA) Program is the nation’s first statewide initiative of its kind – recognizing parents and legal guardians for their exceptional support of public education. Parents are nominated for demonstrating significant, positive contributions in their education communities in the areas of communication, volunteering, learning, decision making and community collaboration. Five finalists and a statewide winner, selected from the 24 semifinalists, were announced during the awards ceremony.
Zaranski has a son and a daughter who attend Robert Moton Elementary School and a daughter in 6th grade at West Middle School. She is the chairperson of the Teacher Appreciation Week Committee and a member of the PTO. She also serves on the CCPS Curriculum Council.
Zaranski began a parent volunteering project for grade level teams at the school to enhance communication and parent volunteering needed within the school. At the beginning of each school year, she surveys parents to find ways to communicate, such as sending emails, making phone calls, or texting. Each month she compiles a volunteer schedule suggesting ways parents can support teachers and students. This has enabled parents to help students with their reading vocabulary words and mathematics facts in the classroom.
Darryl Robbins, principal of Robert Moton Elementary School, says, “Sara’s energy and excitement are key in providing a spark to jump start other members of our school community to increase their involvement in school activities. She leads by example.”
Zaranski coordinates fundraisers and reaches out to local businesses to support activities at the school, including the Teacher Appreciation Week, fifth grade graduation, field trips, and the annual Super Saturday event. She also spends much time completing clerical work for teachers
According to fourth grade teacher Vanessa Childs, who nominated Zaranski for the award, “Sara’s dedication to our school and community has excelled above and beyond the expectation of any one parent. Her love for serving our school has become contagious among other parents, and her goal of making a difference for our students continues to be accomplished daily.