Volunteer for Lifelong Learning program

Sheila Contrabasso (left) and Ellen Peck (in green), along with a team of New Adventures’ volunteers, ready the registration packets for the 2017 Fall mailing in under an hour.

Sheila Contrabasso (left) and Ellen Peck (in green), along with a team of New Adventures’ volunteers, ready the registration packets for the 2017 Fall mailing in under an hour.

Catherine Hammond

As an all-volunteer program, New Adventures in Learning depends on its members to plan and carry out every activity. There is a wide range of volunteer opportunities. Some activities may take only a few minutes. Others can require many hours of commitment over time. The presenters for dozens of classes are perhaps the most visible of these volunteers, but many more people provide support both in the classroom and beyond. A look at the creation of the Curriculum Guide provides an example of possibilities: Various volunteers recruit presenters, proofread descriptions of classes and work with the scheduling team. Once the guides are ready, other workers get together to mail out registration packets. New Adventure’s Governing Council keeps the organization running well with an eye always toward the future. New volunteers receive helpful support in understanding their roles. Teamwork in all areas is essential.

Volunteer experiences vary. Ellen Peck says, “I’ve put stamps on the mailings with class schedules, helped sign in summer session students, worked on a committee to revise class evaluation sheets, shopped for food for a meeting, helped new teachers get their rooms ready and have taught several roundtable classes.” Bill Haskell, a frequent presenter and a member-at-large on the Governing Council, is a “co-founder of Romeo (Retired Old Men Eating Out), a social lunch group that has been active for the last three years.” Larry Noser, who sets up the class schedule, does not see himself as a typical volunteer. “I am not a joiner,” he says. “However, I have enjoyed taking New Adventures courses for a number of years and when I was personally contacted by the curriculum director to assist with the course computer program, I agreed. I received great training and support throughout one semester and then took responsibility for the following semesters. I find it rewarding to assemble diverse data into a useable format under deadline. Furthermore, I increased my computer skills with Microsoft Office programs.”

New Adventures clearly needs its volunteers. On the other hand, the people who contribute their time to the organization often gain satisfaction from the work. Sandi Goldschein, membership chair, says, “As a volunteer, you meet and interact with so many interesting people, and we all have the love of learning in common! Planning the volunteer luncheon this past year was satisfying. People who know me know that I love to feed people and love to make people feel happy.”

If you are thinking of volunteering in any capacity with New Adventures, begin by filling out a yellow volunteer form. These are available in the registration packets or at the desk at the Sun Lakes Center of Chandler-Gilbert Community College, located at 25105 S. Alma School Road, Sun Lakes, AZ 85248. Additional information can be found on the website at www.newadventures.info. You can also call 480-857-5500. New Adventures in Learning is affiliated with Chandler-Gilbert Community College.