National Volunteer Week Feature  

WEDNESDAY, APR. 27, 2022

Above: Volunteer Week feature author, Kayden Kotyck.

Volunteers bring a wealth of varied and diverse experiences to enhance student learning, well-being and belonging in our school communities. They are role models and motivators, generous with their time and skills. To celebrate National Volunteer Week, we’re featuring a daily profile of one of the many volunteers making a difference in Grand Erie. Thank you to all our volunteers!

This special profile was authored by Kayden Kotyck, a Grade 8 student at Russell Reid Public School, who dedicated a writing assignment to sharing her appreciation of Mel Elbourn and the contributions she makes to the school.

Volunteer Profile:

Mel Elbourn

Snack Program Run by Dedicated Volunteer

Above: Mel Elbourn.

Russell Reid Public School’s snack program has been working wonderfully, all led by Mrs. Elbourn. Every Monday to Wednesday, Mrs. Elbourn works hard to make sure that every class in the school has a snack bin for the morning. 

The idea to have snack bins at Russell Reid all started when Ms. Birkett brought up the idea and asked for volunteers to help. Mrs. Elbourn was quick and eager to sign up and after the first few snack bins, she took over the program. With help from Brant Food For Thought, they have been supplying healthy snacks to classes for three years.

When asked why she likes to help and volunteer, Mrs. Elbourn said that she likes to be involved and get to know the people in school and the community. 

“I just want the kids and the community to recognize me and know that I am someone that they can come to if they ever need to,” said Mrs. Elbourn, who also has a son, now in Grade 3, and a daughter in Junior Kindergarten that go to school here. 

Above: Mel Elbourn volunteers at Russell Reid Public School where her children, Kira in Junior Kindergarten and Nicholas in Grade 3, attend.

She is always helping around the school and still helps during COVID-19. The school community and routines have changed due to COVID-19 but Mrs. Elbourn has kept working hard. She is not allowed to have any help preparing the food; however, when she is not able to collect the snack bins, Mrs. Stadnyckyj’s class is there to help. Luckily, the food companies where she ordered the food from made things easier instead of harder by making veggies and fruit already washed, cut, and pre-packaged. 

One thing Mrs. Elbourn said was that she always orders extra food for kids on days where there isn’t a snack bin. That way, they can get some food if they don’t have enough in their lunch or they need an extra snack. The kids in the school appreciate everything she does. 

“The snack bin is important because I can have a snack when I’m hungry and don’t have food,” Kahmar, a student at the school, said.

Mrs. Elbourn is such a kind person who cares and wants to get to know the community to be there for everyone.


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