2 min read

Volunteer Teaching with MHY Family Services

Featured Image

Each year, Lincoln Learning Solutions provides staff members with one additional day of paid time off to use as a Day of Caring. Employees can use this day to volunteer at any organization they choose.

Members of Lincoln Learning’s Academic Affairs and Sales and Marketing teams recently chose to volunteer their time at MHY Family Services’ Longmore Academy, a Mars-based private license academic school that provides education to at-risk youth in grades 1 through 12.

“The best way (for us) to give back is to be part of the classroom and engage with children on a more personal level,” said Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Dr. Rachel Book.

The Lincoln Learning team collaborated with members of MHY’s staff, including Special Education Coordinator Jessica Kaufman, Behavior Specialist Stephanie Addlespurger, and School Counselor Joy Pfaff. Each Lincoln Learning team member taught a lesson on kindness to coincide with National Bullying Prevention Month.

The group instructed various age groups from Longmore Academy. Each volunteer teacher read Be a Buddy, Not a Bully, a book in Lincoln Learning’s Tales of Midlandia series.

From there, the volunteers talked with students about how words can tear a person down, instructing students to rip pieces of a cutout paper figure. The students then used tape to represent how kind words can build someone up after hurtful words have been spoken.

Casey_Reading     Donanne

Next, the volunteers completed a sensory activity with students, providing tubes of toothpaste to represent the unkind words people can use. Students were instructed to squeeze out all their toothpaste, after which the volunteers asked them to put it back inside the tubes. Students quickly realized this was an impossible task, similar to how it is impossible to take back hurtful words once they have been spoken.

Kathy      Lindsay

“I was amazed by how attentive everyone was,” said MHY Director of Development Amy Smith. “It was great to give the kids individualized attention, and it was very powerful to have an adult voice share an anti-bullying message. The lesson just really fit.”

Kathy Cerminara, Solutions Specialist at Lincoln Learning, agreed. “I really enjoyed how welcoming the students were. They liked talking to someone new and sharing their own experiences.”

One group of middle school students enjoyed the lesson so much that they decided to add a compassion wall to the long-term décor in their classroom.

All of the Lincoln Learning volunteers agreed that they loved spending time in the classroom. 

"I haven't been in the classroom in five years," said Lindsay Brandon, a Lincoln Learning solutions specialist. "It was nice to get back to my roots."


Back from left: Lindsay Brandon, Donanne Seese, Joy Pfaff, Kathy Cerminara, Christine Raymond                         
Front from left: Crystal Nuzum, Jessica Kaufman, Rachel Book, Casey Sadler