What’s Right With Our Schools: Outside the classroom with Howard Middle School’s volunteer

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A retired grandmother spends her days helping staff and faculty at Howard Middle School.

Jane Ferguson is more than likely the first person you will meet entering the building’s administration office. She also the last person you will forget.

Principal Lindsey Allen says she is always there to make deliveries to teachers, check on students and do as much as she can to help make it easier for everyone.

“She asked us if she could serve in that capacity and we were like yeah, of course you can, and she doesn’t miss a day,” says Allen.

The door of opportunity gave this retired government employee and volunteer another purpose: to serve others, which started at a young age.

“My mother instilled in us work ethics, which I think is lacking nowadays,” says Ferguson.

She builds relationships with many students and teachers, like 8th grader Reagan Moore.

She smiles at Reagan saying, “I’m one of her favorites. Aren’t I? And she’s one of mine.”

“I’ve always seen her as someone who will always make my day better,” says Moore.

“If I can make a difference in one child’s life, that’s important to me.”

A volunteer with clear intentions-to make Howard a better place.

Allen describes her as a kind, caring person with initiative and a positive attitude. He adds, “She exemplifies the brand that you would want in any school.”

“I love the kids. I love the parents, of course teachers are great,” Ferguson says,”They have a hard job.”

“They’ve got to be mothers, counselors, fathers,  everything to the children, so I can come up here and help a little bit,” she says.

Ferguson believes communities have to be invested in its local schools to keep children on the right path. She believes parents are the key.

“They don’t have to come into the school to be a volunteer, or support. They can make sure their children are here on time. They can make sure they know their teachers,” says Ferguson.

The volunteer says busy halls, constant phone calls and middle-school aged children are worth the hassle, because serving is her gift.

“And I’ll hopefully be busy years down the road.”

She adds, “I think if you stop you cease to exist to some degree. You’ve got to have something to look forward to, and so I just get up and stay busy.”

Allen says Ferguson and more people like her are needed at Howard Middle School, and other surrounding schools.

“People in the community say well I see a need, let me go and invest time and energy in that school, because again, our children are our future.”

Ferguson is not making any money from volunteering, but says her time is well spent regardless.

“Anyone can make a difference if they want to. Make this world a better place.”

Though Bibb County Schools are out for the summer, Ferguson plans to help out with her church’s summer camp this year.