By BOB COUPLAND
WARREN - Whether providing coats and gloves or covering costs for a end-of-the-school year party, the many adopters from local organizations and businesses in the community help make a difference for the students in Warren city schools.
The adopters were recognized for their work and donations at the recent 21st annual Adopt-A-School appreciation luncheon.
Warren Schools Superintendent Michael Notar said the school district appreciates all that the adopters do for the students and staff.
"It means a lot for our students who want to come to school to do better for themselves. Your financial support of what you do for our students and your hard work and dedication means a lot. The more positive role models we surround our students with, the more successful they will be in life," Notar said.
Jean Tunstall, Altrusa president and Adopt-A-School co-chair, said former Tribune Chronicle editor Jim Brown was behind getting Adopt-A-School started.
The adopters through their commitment have helped touch the lives of the local children and made this program successful,'' Tunstall said.
Judge Thomas A. Swift swore in the newest adopters, Margie Szakacs and Charlene Yusko of the Howland SCOPE Needle Arts group, who have made stockings and hats for children and also volunteered their time at schools.
"We wanted to do something for the community. We may be a small group but encourage others to find the time and donate to be an adopter,'' Yusko said.
Swift said, "Our schools are the future of this community. We should all do what we can to help those students with their education. We appreciate the volunteers.''
Jenny Annandono of First Presbyterian Church of Warren said church members provided Christmas gifts to 75 to 100 children at Willard K-8.
"Each relationship between adopters and adoptee is unique. Thousands of students have been affected by the adopters. Caring for the children of our city is the best way to ensure its future. We are there to help the students and to continue to keep the dream alive of Jim and Jean Brown,'' Annandono said.
Michelle Chiaro, principal of Willard PK-8 School, said the adopters provided schools supplies for the students and made events throughout the year possible.
"There were so many events that took place that you (adopters) took our breath away. You made a difference to so many children," Chiaro said.
She said people from different backgrounds and life experiences worked together and have their heart and time to help students.
Many at the event commented on the power of adopters to enrich students' lives.
"Our students are receiving a wonderful benefit from a chance encounter with the adopters. Everyone has a talent and skill to share with out students. We are eternally grateful that people are willing to share their talents with our students," Associate Superintendent Steve Chiaro said.