Auburn Union gets staffing help from Assistance League

Community service organization pitches in where others can’t
By: Andrew Westrope, Staff Writer
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Auburn Union School District relies on several support organizations for fundraising and materials, but the Assistance League of Greater Placer provides what most of them can’t – actual helping hands in the classroom.

With its weekly Tutor Time program, the league offers educational support for students at Rock Creek School, Auburn Elementary School and others outside the district with 21 volunteers in 10 different classrooms in Auburn and Roseville. Marysue Tiffany, a spokeswoman for the league, said unpaid volunteers with the program donated 749 hours to tutor more than 256 children last year under the guidance of classroom teachers in subjects of math, reading and language arts.

“We actually contact the schools, and then we have a liaison person that will be an intermediary,” she said. “We’ve had the same schools, year after year and family after family, that need our help.”

Tutor Time is one of 14 Assistance League programs, education-based or otherwise, that serve more than 13,000 people in Auburn, Colfax, Cool, Foresthill, Georgetown, Granite Bay, Grass Valley, Lincoln, Loomis, Newcastle, Ophir, Penryn, Rocklin, Roseville, Sheridan and Truckee. It also serves the school with Operation School Bell, a program to clothe and supply needy children for school, and an anti-bullying puppet show for K-3 students called “Kids on the Block.”

As a non-profit organization that gets most of its money through fundraisers and a thrift shop at Fiddler Green Plaza in Auburn, the league has seen rising need and falling resources over the past few years. Tiffany said Operation School Bell, the league’s signature program, received 4,299 hours of volunteer service last year and spent more than $123,000 on 11,584 people from Auburn and Rocklin.

Auburn Union School District Superintendent Michele Schuetz said support from the league has become invaluable, especially given the district’s ongoing budget troubles.

“They provide clothing, toiletries, shoes, jackets, backpacks, whenever we call them with a family in need,” she said. “They are a great support to our school.”

The league is also preparing a new program to provide vision screening program for three to seven-year-olds.