CANNON BEACH — Three months in, the Cannon Beach Academy is operating much like the other schools in the region. Parent-teacher conferences are around the corner, and the students are gearing up for the winter holiday program.
But unlike most, many functions of the charter school are done by volunteers. And the lack of volunteers is creating stress for the academy’s four full-time staff members, said Amy Moore, the academy’s executive director, at a recent board meeting.
In order to adequately serve the school’s 21 students, Moore needs at least one person in the morning and one in the afternoon for breakfast and lunch five days a week. But the number of volunteers and how much time they can donate varies each week, often leaving Moore running the breakfast service on her own.
“Volunteers have been difficult to secure for many reasons, including scheduling. After the children’s center closed, our volunteers found other organizations to support,” Moore said in an email. “Also many folks don’t know that we are truly open. We are working on our marketing this fall and winter.”
Having teachers and herself running food service operations cuts into time Moore and her staff uses to prep for the day’s lessons. Without more volunteers, Moore said the school may have to cut breakfast service.
“I can’t do it without help,” Moore said.
Like the time it takes to serve it, much of the food offered at the academy is donated, as well. Because of lack of space, the school is only able to serve foods that can be easily prepared or heated without equipment like a stove.
With only $900 a month budgeted for food, the academy is looking to work with community partners for food donations in the hopes of providing healthier options.
“We’re serving what we can do right now, but I want to provide better,” Moore said.
Cannon Beach Academy board president Kellye Dewey said it is the priority of the board to recruit more volunteers.
“I think we need to remember we are only three months in, and we’re just going to keep improving as we go,” Dewey said. “It’s been a five-year battle. It’s not anything we haven’t overcome before.”
People interested in volunteering can check openings on the website at thecannonbeachacademy.org or call the business manager at 503-436-4463. There are also volunteer openings for first- and second-grade reading, kindergarten math, janitorial cleaning and technology support.