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SMARTS members and friends volunteering at School Fuel are, from left to right, back row: Jacqueline Hollis Martinez, Debbie Caffey, Julie Hoffman, Peggy Hillburn and Barbara Hollis; front row: Charlotte Evans, Viki Hicks, Sharon East, Janis Brown and Theresa Jones. SMARTS photos

Retired teachers are valuable community volunteers

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The San Marcos Area Retired Teacher and Staff (SMARTS) are very involved in volunteering in our city, in our county and in the state. The state organization, the Texas State Teachers Association (TRTA) encourages members to keep a log of their volunteer hours throughout the year. Each hour of volunteering is considered to be worth $28 to our economy — what the city, the schools, the hospitals and families save by having retired teachers volunteer their time. For the 2017 year, 70 of the 120 SMARTS members reported their volunteer hours. A total of 42,564 volunteer hours were logged and reported. At a value of $28 per hour, the group contributed $1,191,792 value to help the economy of our county and state. They are able to report this to our state legislators each year.

SMARTS is also active in our county and city through their Children’s Book Project. We use donations to buy books for children in our area. This year their emphasis is giving books to infants and preschoolers. They have given over 80 quality books to children in Hays County this summer. Another community project is the scholarship program.  SMARTS members give two scholarships each year to Texas State University students who are finishing their student teaching.

SMARTS members filling sacks for School Fuel, left to right: Charlotte Evans, Sharon East and Peggy Hillburn.

Being a member of SMARTS is an excellent way to stay informed and keep in touch with colleagues. They are a lively group offering fun and informative programs at each meeting. SMARTS meetings are each month from September to May on the second Tuesday of the month at 11:30 a.m. Meetings are at the Price Center, 222 W. San Antonio St., San Marcos. Cost of these luncheons is $15 and reservations are required. Their first meeting of the year will be on Sept. 11 with Michael Cardona, superintendent of the San Marcos CISD, speaking on the “State of the District,” plus, a representative from the Noon Lions Club will inform us of all they do for SMCISD.  If you want to join us, RSVP to Viki Hicks, at vikihicks@gmail.com by Friday, Sept. 7. If you are a retired teacher and are interested in knowing more about joining, you can also contact her.