Fifty years ago, then Long Beach PTA Council President and former Board of Education member Arlene Solomon opened her home to a handful of organizers and led the drive to bring Volunteers in Public Schools, or VIPS, to all campuses. Those early efforts drew 12 volunteers.
Today, thousands of dedicated VIPS serve in local schools without receiving a penny. VIPS will celebrate its golden anniversary during a “VIPS Have a Heart of Gold” event from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 31 at The Centre at Sycamore Plaza Weingart Ballroom, 5000 Clark Ave., Lakewood. Continental breakfast will be provided. RSVP to Dulnari Edirisinghe-Aga and Marilyn Bittle at either 997-8307 or DEdirisingheaga@lbschools.net.
VIPS provides direct assistance to thousands of students in classrooms throughout the school district. After careful screening and training, volunteers work directly with students, prepare educational materials and assist teachers and other school staff.