PARKLAND, FL- Four Parkland schools received the Golden School Award for the 2019-2020 school year. The Florida Department of Education Golden and Silver School Awards recognize schools with exemplary volunteer programs that promote parent and community engagement in education. Broward County Public Schools announced 80 District schools that earned the 2019-2020 Golden and Silver School Awards. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Westglades Middle School, Riverglades Elementary and Heron Heights Elementary were presented with the Gold Award.

It is 21st year that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was presented with the Gold Award. Westglades Middle School was awarded the Gold Award for its fourth year. Riverglades has achieved the Gold Award 27 times, and Heron Heights has received the Gold award since it opened 11 years ago. 

Stoneman Douglas Principal Michelle Kefford is appreciative of the effort from volunteers. "We feel community involvement is instrumental in the success of our school," Kefford says. "We are very fortunate to have an active volunteer program that continues to support MSD.  The Golden School Award recognizes the quality and caliber of this volunteer program."

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The time that local parents put into supporting and building the MSD community is tremendous. Principal Kefford notes the leadership and sheer number of hours that are put into guiding the volunteer effort as a whole. 

Middle and Elementary School needs are also significant. Teachers and parents alike know the value volunteers bring to the classrooms.

"About once a month, I will go into my daughter's classroom to help her teacher with paperwork and organization. This gives me a chance to get a glimpse into her awesome classroom. Her teacher works incredibly hard to make the class a special place, and it makes me feel good to give back to her in a very small way," added Heron Heights parent Lauryn Shapiro. 

Volunteers help schools to run more smoothly and support teachers and staff, but they also have an impact on the students they see during their time at school. "I have often seen parent volunteers reach struggling students, create special bonds, and be that extra smiling face to let children know that they are loved, safe, and valued. Without volunteers, our schools and ultimately our children wouldn’t be as successful," added Anna Taylor, teacher at RIverglades Elementary. 

View the complete list of the Golden and Silver School Awards recipients and learn about volunteering at


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