DEAR ABBY: A few years ago, I discovered an incredible need teachers have. The day after school ended, I had a couple of free hours and impulsively stopped by the school and offered to help my daughter's teacher pack up for the summer. You would have thought I donated an organ! What I did was not hard: We took down bulletin boards, packed books, etc. It was quite enjoyable.
Before school began in the fall, I offered my services again, but this time my 18- and 15-year-old daughters joined me. The teachers nearly named a day after us. We cleaned cubbies, arranged desks, cut out shapes and set out supplies. It doesn't matter if you have one hour or four. It makes a difference.
The most wonderful part was my daughters telling the teachers they had no idea how much work teachers devote to preparing for their pupils.
I recommend this as a wonderful volunteer opportunity. The added benefit was exposing my teen-agers to the "behind-the-scenes" activities of these energetic, committed professional teachers. -- KAREN WARREN, GAINESVILLE, FLA.
DEAR KAREN: A terrific idea. Everyone's a winner when everyone chips in, but why stop there? Schools welcome the continual involvement of parents in their children's education, and that involvement results in more diligent students.