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By Roz Rogoff

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About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Volunteer for history

Uploaded: Apr 28, 2009
I received an announcement from Forest Home Farms that they were looking for docents to give demos on canning. I had a fruit sauce business ten years ago in Morro Bay and did all my own canning. So I thought this would be easy.

I went to the meeting and met all the volunteers and was surprise that I knew most of them and some of the others were readers of the Observer. I guess involved people read the Observer! It's also that most volunteers are retired and over 55. So I fit right in, or at least age-wise.

I was set to start in February when I was bitten by one of my foster cats and my hand swelled up to the size of a catcher's mitt. I needed hand surgery in April, so I wasn't able to start canning demos until May. By then the school season was almost over.

I gave eight demos on four or five days in May and June. It was fun. The kids really get involved, and simple things like using the magnet wand to put lids on jars becomes a game of skill and chance.

Today I received a Press Release from Stephanie Herscu, the volunteer coordinator at Forest Home Farm to recruit more volunteers for the next school year. So here's her pitch. I hope some of you pitch in. You will find it very rewarding.

Education Docents Needed at Forest Home Farms

If you have an interest in local history, are a retired teacher, or love working with children, then we are looking for you! This fieldtrip program is great for retirees, stay-at-home moms, part-time workers, and those with extra free time who would like to be involved in the community! No experience necessary- we will train you!

Tours are held outdoors on our beautifully preserved historic farm site. There are four different areas for volunteers to choose from: Grandpa- leads tours and activities, Grandma- leads tours and activities, Garden- explains concepts of organic gardening and aids children in gardening chores, and Canning- presents a canning demonstration and leads activities (no previous gardening or canning experience required).

Volunteer Description: Docents lead hands-on activities that teach the agricultural history of the San Ramon Valley and Forest Home Farms. Kids get to take a step back in time and see what life was like "in the olden days". It is a very rewarding experience to see how much the children enjoy learning and to be able to answer their questions. Parents and teachers in the San Ramon Valley rave about our program!

Requirements: Education docents need to attend a two-hour training session twice per year and volunteer at least two times per month during the school year (in 4 hour time slots for fieldtrips).

Volunteers must be available on weekdays and be fingerprinted through the San Ramon Police Dept. Fieldtrips run Mon-Fri, 9am-12pm during the school year with a short break in winter. Fall fieldtrips for the 2008-2009 school year begin September 9.

For more information or to find out how you can volunteer, contact Stephanie Herscu at (925) 973-3283 or sherscu@sanramon.ca.gov. Forest Home Farms is located at 19953 San Ramon Valley Blvd. in San Ramon, just south of Pine Valley Road.

Comments from Teachers on FHF Field Trips

· "It is always my favorite fieldtrip. It is organized, educational and fun. The docents are amazing, and their enthusiasm is wonderful. Thank you all for your commitment to this program."
· "This was a terrific fieldtrip. It far exceeded my expectations."
· "The kids absolutely loved this fieldtrip. How lucky we are to have such a gem right here in good 'ol San Ramon. Thank you!"
· "This is such a terrific fieldtrip for our 3rd graders. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful glimpse into the Valley's past. Thank you for all you do to make FHF a living museum!"
· "I have only positive comments about all aspects of our trip. Everything was well planned and organized."
· "This trip is consistently good and getting better!"
· "The students enjoyed all of the stations and all of the docents. The class and the parents really enjoyed this fieldtrip. Having activities where the students participated was great."
· "Not too long or too short, kids usually have snack but tastings helped curve hunger." Others wanted a snack break
· "Thanks for being understanding about arrival time"
· Make sure to allow time for all students to have a photo on the tractor.
· "Thanks for all your work and dedication"
· "Looking forward to indoor bathrooms"
· "Your new exhibits in the barns are wonderful and add such a nice addition to an already great program."

(Column reposted from 2008 SanRamonObserver.org)

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