Daily Point of Light # 2236 Aug 29, 2002

Debi Johnson and Terri McAllister are advocates for the children in the Salt Lake City, Utah region. They give the children of Mill Creek Elementary the special attention they need to have a healthy educational start.

They both have served as the PTA president for Mill Creek Elementary School and always demonstrate a sincere interest in the well being of the students. Both Johnson and McAllister are always available and willing to help, but they are also very open to constructive feedback. They use the feedback to make their volunteer efforts more effective.

The staff, students and school community respect Johnson and McAllister and are receptive to their strategies to help students achieve their full potential. Since they began volunteering, Johnson and McAllister have envisioned, created and directed various projects at the school.

The pair organized the parent community to sew patriotic fleece hats to wear to Mill Creek’s Olympic events. Johnson and McAllister also initiated a school wide reading incentive program. The school goal was 11,000 books read during the 2000-2001 school year, and the next year they followed and increased the goal to 14,000 books.

Johnson and McAllister also started an artist in residency program, which culminated with a dance recital. This program was very well received and attended by 12,000 parents. A safety program that included a calling tree, classroom water and snacks for every classroom was also an idea brought to the school by this two-person team. In addition, they organized and served on a media committee within the school to bring in more books and to help label them along with organizing two fundraisers, which enabled students to go on field trips.

Johnson and McAllister also worked in the media center to help the students obtain resources when the instructor was unavailable, offered medical assistance to the school in the sickroom, and established a store for positive behavioral awards for the children. They have also served as volunteers on the playground during recess and structured game time along with directing a well functioning PTA.