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Where Everybody Belongs
At St. David's Center, inclusion is not a practice or an educational strategy, it is a value. Learn how preschool children, like Jonathan, benefit when they have opportunities to play and learn side-by-side with children of all abilities. Watch video.
Volunteering at St. David's Center
You can help us build relationships that nurture the development of every child and family.
St. David's Center offers unique and rewarding volunteer opportunities in a variety of programs at our Minnetonka location and in the broader Twin Cities West metro community. We understand the importance of volunteers and the impact they have on each and every child, and we are committed to providing ongoing support, training and flexibility.
Volunteer Opportunities Volunteer Inquiry
Volunteer Spotlight - Breck Middle School Students
Our Early Childhood Education program has launched a love for learning within thousands of preschoolers throughout the years, including seven 7th and 8th graders who are currently volunteering in the very classrooms where they were preschool students.
"It's wonderful to see my son Gunnar return and give back to a place that was so nurturing and special for him as a toddler and preschooler," said Shannon Evenstad, the mother of one of the volunteering students. "He likes giving the current St. David's Center kids one-on-one attention, making fun memories for them, and helping them learn and develop."
Gunnar and the other six students now attend Breck Middle School and are giving back to St. David's Center as part of the school curriculum's service requirement encouraging students to develop a social conscience. Based on their own individual interests, students in 5th through 8th grades pick a service site at the beginning of the school year and then volunteer there one day each month.
"We like that our Middle School students can choose programs that are most meaningful to them," Breck Middle School Service Coordinator Angie Kritta said. "Originally all students went to the same advisor-chosen sites, but now the program has evolved to build off their own personal passions and that has deepened the message of service."
For more than 15 years, St. David's Center has been one of the service sites for Breck Middle School students. This year, however, the connection seems even stronger as seven of the 12 students volunteering used to be St. David's Center preschool students themselves. Many trace their friendships with each other back to their own Early Childhood Education days, and many of their families have also continued to stay involved with St. David's Center.
"You can't choose St. David's Center as your service site until you're in 7th Grade, and I couldn't wait to come back because both Colleen Pineda and Deb Ellsworth were my teachers," St. David's Center alum John Fullerton said. "I get to help them pass out the snacks, and then help the kids with puzzles or whatever activity they're doing that day. Colleen and Deb have a class of all boys this year and it's pretty cool to be a role model for them."
St. David's Center teachers agree that the program is invaluable. They enjoy reconnecting with the former students, who are now a couple feet taller, and say their current students love having them in class, too.
"I had Gunnar Evenstad in my classroom when he was a toddler, and now he's the favorite lap to sit on when he's here and helping us read books," teacher Jeanne Foley said.
St. David's Center for Child & Family Development | 3395 Plymouth Road Minnetonka, MN 55305 | (952) 939-0396
Serving Minneapolis and the Greater Twin Cities Metro