Starpoint teachers get an A+ in volunteering

Left to right: STA President Mike Luick, STA Vice President Adrienne Cohan, and far right, Jeff Tracy, an STA member, stand with Pendleton Food Pantry workers.

There's nothing quite like hearing the bell go off, sounding an end to classes for the day.

That goes for teachers, as well as, students.

However, it's been some time since either has heard it, and for the teachers of Starpoint, inactivity is unacceptable. 

Together, under the Starpoint Teacher's Association, these hard-working individuals became heroes under the pressure of the pandemic.

The first thing the STA did was create a Community Outreach Fund, in which anyone who works in Starpoint can donate money to the Pendleton Food Pantry and the Salvation Army in Lockport.

"When we said were going to start this outreach fund, we had no idea how much money we would get," said Adrienne Cohan, vice president of the STA and a social worker at Starpoint Central School District. "We've already given each food pantry $1,000 and we're still collecting money."

Going beyond, the STA members also saved a date where volunteers from the organization can collect food and toiletry items for the Pendleton Food Pantry in front of the high school on May 6 and 7.

"When we brought the money to Pendleton, the director said there was specific things they were having a hard time getting," Cohan said. "Some of it's toiletries, some of it's household stuff."

Not willing to let a good deed go undone, the group is placing a trailer to fill with donations for the Pendleton Food Pantry

"We're putting it out in the community that anyone, if they want to drop off donations – for the food banks – that we will collect it, we'll get it all ready, we'll donate it. We'll supply the manpower to bring it over and everything," Cohan said. "The Starpoint teachers are going to be the ones who are going to man the trailer and do the collections and do the drop-offs."

"(And) we wear masks, we wear gloves and we spread out," she added.

The group is no stranger to working outside the school rather than inside. During the shutdown, STA members have been volunteering to distribute lunches ever Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m in front of the high school, usually about six to eight volunteers.

"The schools are still supplying lunches to the families, but the food service company provides (only) a few workers to package up the lunches and get them ready," Cohan said. "What we have done as the STA is that we have teachers volunteering every single day of lunch distribution. ... We're the ones – as the cars pull up – taking their information, figuring how much they need. We're packaging them up and we're putting them in the car."

Finally, the last, but not least, activity the STA has come up with to help their students is buying lawn signs for each senior of the Class of 2020.

"Our teacher's association helped pick up some of the cost, we signed up all the volunteers – assigning different teachers different students – it's quite the operation," Cohan said. "We're going to have place where they can pick up all the signs and deliver them to all the seniors."

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