Written by Nora Rickey, Assistant Program Coordinator

I met with Ely Folk School’s volunteer cleaning crew right before we closed for the holidays, and had a lovely time interviewing them about their experience. I asked each member what brought them to the folk school, and what they gained from the experience of volunteering. Each person said that they were interested in getting involved with the school because they valued what it brought to the community. They all think that EFS is such a great asset to the community, and they wanted to contribute something to helping it successfully function. All the members are more recent transplants to Ely, and found that through volunteering, they gained a greater sense of community and a sense of purpose. Members have met new friends through the folk school, gotten connected to teaching and taking class, and continue their spirit of camaraderie outside their volunteering through kayaking or getting together. 

Our folk school community is tied together tightly with the place in which it exists. The folk school is more than just a meeting place, it’s a place for friends and family to join together and connect. When John Kopp was asked what he wanted to do to get involved, he said that he would, “really like to clean the place. Connecting to place is kind of a passion, whether it’s going and finding a place that’s spiritual or sacred to one self, or I’m taking care of a place that you’re becoming a part of. The cleaning is kind of like more than cleaning; it’s a way of planting roots and is symbolic of that.” We are so thankful to have Debbie, Sue, Deb, John, and Kathy helping us keep our place clean so that the community can meet and learn here, and continue growing at the Ely Folk School. 

The members of the crew are: Debbie Cook, Sue Duffy, Deb Funk, John Kopp, and Cathy Vanderboom

Volunteer at the Ely Folk School

John Kopp also is an Ely Folk School instructor! You can sign up to take his class: Writing With Your Child, For Your Child by registering on Coursestorm. This class takes place over the course of 6 Thursdays. By the end of class, you and your elementary schooler will have written and illustrated your own book! 

This 6-week class (one session per week) was designed for parent & child pairs. The intention is for each pair to write their own personalized children’s book. There are no prerequisites or level of skill necessary. In recognition that attending all 6 consecutive sessions can be challenging, the class is designed to accommodate the occasional missing of a session.