The May 2009 recipient is Wendy Alexander, recognized for her volunteer work as an Idlewild Elementary School Tutor and a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Pierce County Juvenile Court.
After a 30 year career in elementary education, Wendy Alexander wasn’t quite ready to hang up her spikes. She responded to a newspaper ad for volunteer CASAs. Now 11 years, thousands of hours, and hundreds of clients later, Wendy is still there for children whose parents have been referred to the Court by Child Protective Services. According to her Job Description, “A CASA is a volunteer appointed by the Court to advocate for the best interest of a child who is alleged to have been abused or neglected. In order to do this, the CASA must investigate the facts of the case, recommend a course of action to the Court, explain the Court‘s findings to the child, facilitate the resolution of the presenting problems, and monitor progress toward established goals.” The staff at the Court‘s volunteer department wrote: “Thank you for taking the time to nominate our cherished CASA, Wendy Alexander, as she is definitely deserving of such an award.”
Wendy’s first case lasted over six years! She has logged 912 hours since 2005, and many more before records began to be kept. Currently, she is the advocate for two infants. She must make contact with everyone who has contact with each child, attend all Court proceedings in the case, and write meticulous reports. Sometimes she logs as many as 20 hours in a month, but receives no stipend, per diem or travel allowance, although her work takes her all over Pierce County.
In her spare time, Wendy tutors in three classrooms at Idlewild Elementary school in Lakewood, working with small groups of about 10 children on reading, writing and arithmetic, as she has for about 12 years. One of her favorite places to tutor is in the classroom of one of her grandchildren, currently Madeline, a 4th Grader. Another favorite place is the tennis court. Wendy is a highly successful and fiercely competitive member of teams at the Lakewood Racquet Club
For her commitment to the children of Lakewood and Pierce County, Wendy Alexander is hereby recognized by Lakewood‘s Community Collaboration. She receives our thanks, a plaque and the traveling Red Wagon, symbolic of pulling her weight to help the youth of Lakewood and beyond.
The mission of Lakewood’s Promise is to mobilize people from every sector of life to build the character and competence of our youth by providing these Promises:
- An ongoing relationship with a caring adult
- Safe places with structured activities during non-school hours
- A healthy start for a healthy future
- Effective education for marketable skills and college readiness
- Opportunities for youth to serve their community.
Lakewood’s Community Collaboration, made up of over 100 human service organizations, service clubs, businesses, individuals and public entities each month presents a “Caught in the Act-of Keeping Lakewood’s Promise” Award to an individual or organization that has quietly performed an outstanding deed or deeds for one or more families/children in the City of Lakewood.