In honor of Volunteer Appreciation Month, the San Francisco Education Fund celebrated our fantastic weekly ongoing volunteers last week in the annual Volunteer Recognition Ceremony. We certainly had a lot to celebrate and be thankful for: Throughout the 2023-24 school year, 310 dedicated community members generously gave their time supporting students and teachers in classrooms, totaling an impressive 27,181 hours. Together, they’ve made a profound impact, supporting 4,796 students across 82 SFUSD schools. 

Over 160 guests joined us for an evening of celebration, including incredible Spanish food, several drawing prizes generously donated by community members and businesses, and heartfelt speeches by teachers and Ed Fund staff.  

Each year, the San Francisco Education Fund awards select volunteers for going above and beyond the volunteer job description. Thank you to ALL volunteers for the incredible work you do in the classroom, and a special congratulations to the following award recipients:    

Amy Barron, Distinguished Service Award 

Ed Fund Volunteer Coordinator Celina Baldizon, left, poses with Distinguished Service Award recipient, Amy Barrow

Amy, a devoted volunteer at El Dorado, has forged deep connections with teachers, staff, families, and students during her tenure at the school. Her dedication knows no bounds as she engages with students through reading, conversations, and writing sessions multiple times a week.  Beyond the classroom, Amy actively participates in field trips, enriches recess with her presence, and assists in lesson preparation. Her impact extends even further as she integrates mindfulness practices into weekly sessions, positively influencing student behavior both in and out of class. 

Known for her personalized approach, Amy invests time in getting to know each student individually. “Previous students run up to greet her and current students are always asking if she will work with them,” said Anna Pepito, the teacher Anna supports. “This year she has supported students in learning their letters, has guided students through learning to decode and build up their reading fluency, and she has even started a book club, reading and discussing multiple chapter books with students.” 

A staunch advocate for public education and volunteering, Amy is a cornerstone of the El Dorado community, deserving of heartfelt recognition for her invaluable contributions.  

Thank you and congratulations, Amy!  

Beth Weinberger, Distinguished Service Award, Mindfulness 

Mindful Arts SF Founder, Andrew Jordan Nance (left), poses with Distinguished Service Award of Mindfulness recipient Beth Weinberger (center) and teacher Jessica Leary Duquette

Photo here 

Beth is a retired educator, and literacy and mindfulness volunteer at Junipero Serra Elementary School and Grattan Elementary School.  With over eight years of service, her passion and dedication have only grown stronger. 

Beth’s commitment extends beyond the classroom. She invests in understanding each student on a deeper level, fostering holistic growth and development. Her ongoing relationships with students from previous years illustrate her enduring dedication to their success. 

Throughout her tenure, Beth has generously contributed hundreds of hours to classrooms, providing invaluable support to both teachers and students alike. From assisting students with learning difficulties and language barriers to addressing social, emotional, and trauma-related needs, Beth’s impact is strongly felt across the community. 

“It has been a joy to see Beth share her gift [of mindfulness] with my class, and watching that gift grow has been one of the most beautiful things that I have gotten to see in my classroom,” said Jessica Leary Duquette, the teacher Beth supports. “Thank you to all mindfulness volunteers, and Beth, you are such an incredible gift to all of our kids.”  

Thank you and congratulations, Beth! 

Nancy Fong, Newcomer Award  

Kaitlin Dunkle, SFUSD teacher, poses with Nancy Fong, recipient of the Ed Fund’s Newcomer Award

Nancy signed up to volunteer at Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School this year, and quickly made a significant impact in the school’s Special Day Classroom (SDC).  

According to Kaitlin Dunkle, the teacher Nancy supports, “Volunteers are more important than ever with teacher and para-educator shortages. We really see that in SDC environments, so the fact that the Ed Fund partners with partners with SDC teachers to get volunteers in the classroom is so important.” Ms. Nancy has gone above and beyond to meet the needs of Kaitlin’s SDC classroom. “She is the model volunteer and for someone who has never worked with students with disabilities, I cannot begin to explain how deserving she is of this award.”  

Thank you and congratulations, Nancy! 


A special thank you to our friends at Children’s Day School for graciously allowing us to use their beautiful Founders’ Hall to host this celebration. Once again, a HUGE thank you to the volunteers who stepped up to support thousands of students this year. We are incredibly grateful for your commitment and dedication to San Francisco students, teachers, families, and the community-at-large. We appreciate you!    

If you’re interested in volunteering, please fill out this form to be added to a list to receive details for our next training in the Fall.