Hammond gives 110 %

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 4, 2004

By SUE ELLEN ROSS – Staff Reporter

LAPLACE – Cindy Hammond takes motherhood very seriously. She believes that the best support a parent can give a child is to be truly involved in their lives.

She is definitely following her own advice by serving as a school volunteer – every day of the week.

The LaPlace mother of three is involved in many events and programs at John L. Ory Magnet School, where her daughters, Megan, 13, and Cheyenne, 10, attend.

At a recent book fair, Hammond’s caring nature was evident as she patiently helped youngsters look through the large selection of books and posters. Her son, Duncan, 4, assisted her.

Hammond’s volunteer career at the school began eight years ago when she got involved in the school’s PTO. “I helped with making the popcorn,” she said. “I became known as the ‘Popcorn Lady.’ She also helped out part time at the school in other areas.

Four years ago, she was asked to fill the PTO vice-president slot. She accepted. When the PTO president moved out of town shortly thereafter, she wore both hats for the remainder of the year. She found she was able to meet the challenge.

Currently, Hammond is president of the PTO, and with so many events and programs going on, she finds it necessary to be at the school Monday through Friday.

One of her goals is to get more parent involvement in the school’s activities.

She spreads the word that volunteer work is beneficial in many ways – for the children, their parents and the school. Even if it is only a small amount of time, parent involvement is valued, she added.

“If they could see what a difference they could make, being supportive and helping out in other ways,” she said. “They will get a lot out of it. It is a good feeling to know your wanted and needed.”

Her advice is working. The volunteer group has increased about 25 percent from last year.

One parent really does make a difference, she added, “And a lot of parents can make an even bigger difference.”

The most rewarding part of her service at the school is the smiles on the children’s’ faces, including her two girls.

“Both of my daughters are doing better by my being here,” she said. ” This shows I care about them and their education.”