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Children's friend Fern recognized with award


Pictured with Fern from left, Harlan Warner, chairman of ESD Board, kindergarten teacher Jan Erickson and GCDSD Superintendent Paul Turner. -submitted photo

"We're very lucky to have her," Lake Roosevelt kindergarten teacher Jan Erickson said about Fern Blaylock, who volunteers daily with the kindergarten classes and recently received an award from the North Central Educational Service District.

Blaylock does activities with three kinder garten classes, ranging from art activities to reading and writing activities, math, and more. Several years ago, she decided to start riding the school bus at a time when some kids needed instruction in how to behave on it.

Blaylock doesn't ride the bus now, but Erickson said that Blaylock is like a grandmother to the children and that the parents also know her from after-school activities.

She helps students load up their trays at lunch time, helps them practice their ABCs, and helps them make little books regularly, including drawings and sentences about topics such as "fish" or "dinosaurs."

Blaylock was honored with a catered dinner and a plaque at the North Central ESD in Wenatchee on May 10.

"Fern has been an advocate for Coulee kids for over ten years, volunteering in our elementary school," Grand Coulee Dam School District Superintendent Paul Turner wrote in a letter nominating Blaylock for the award. "I can't think of anyone more deserving of this recognition than Fern."

The nomination letter also included anonymous quotes from Lake Roosevelt Elementary staff about Blaylock:

"Fern is an amazing asset for our school. The students and staff love her. She has been volunteering at our school for years, especially in the kindergarten classrooms. Her heart is filled with love and compassion for all of our students. She is truly a blessing for LRE."

"Fern is a dependable volunteer."

"Fern is every child's friend."

"Compassionate, kind, giving, lifelong volunteer. She sees the importance of greeting students, modeling kindness and positive behavior, and helping each other."

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