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Parents/Guardians
Dear Parent or Guardian:

I bought a T-shirt at last year's NCA conference that says:  "In Cheerleading there IN NO SUCH THING AS AN OFF SEASON!"; this only BEGINS to identify how huge a commitment this team is - especially for coaches, managers and volunteers!  Add to this the fact that Cheer is the most dangerous sport AND involves skills that few team members have even TRIED before! In addition, because teaching new stunts is probably the most dangerous aspect of the sport, I have chosen to divide the team into smaller groups for stunting practice (i.e. more practices to coach!). This pretty much sums up why a minimal level of Adult Volunteerism on behalf of each athlete is requested.  I therefore respectfully request that either you, as parents, or another responsible adult on your son/daughter's behalf, support the team with at least six hours of volunteering per month.

Most volunteers find participating with the team and its activities a lot of fun.  Most parents who do volunteer see this as a last chance to be directly involved with their son or daughter's interests while they are still (technically) in childhood!

Though each athlete is NOT required to ATTEND all practices, coaches and volunteers MUST be there for the team at all practices.  This means up to six two-hour practices per week and that's just FOR ONE TEAM, ONLY! (more if we want a Dance Team), plus often two games for which to Cheer, and perhaps a Pep Rally thrown in there for good measure.  

The options are endless as there is ALWAYS work to be done. Last year, Mrs. Beaupre, Mrs. L'Heureux and Mrs. Rich EACH spent upwards of 30 hours PER WEEK volunteering for this team  - and even this wasn't enough support for the team to reach its fullest potential.  Any help you, or someone on your behalf can provide (supervising, phone calls, Parent Association, committees, planning OUR competition, setting up and supervising fund-raisers, sewing, … will be most appreciated!)

It is our greatest hope that we can host a competition this spring.  If we decide to proceed with it at our Fall Parent Meeting, a committee must be struck immediately and almost all parents will have to be willing to donate at least six hours of their time on the day of the competition.

As a teacher, my extra-curricular requirement is an average of 45 minutes per week.  I am willing to commit to more than fifty times that, provided I have the support I require!

Not only do I teach and coach the team, I deal with all budgetary and bookkeeping issues, research and apply for competitions, and ensure that I am aware of all school events, changes to competition rules, dates, etc.  I arrange for practice space, represent the team at staff meetings and when dealing with school and board administration.  I ensure our activities are within school and board policy and I handle and create/update most documentation and communication for the team (including the weekly newsletter, manuals, announcements, forms, posters and the Web site).  I also represent the school at Alberta and National Cheerleading Associations events.  This list does not include activities that Mrs. Beaupre and Mrs. L'Heureux generously took off my hands last year! (This is my not-so-subtle way of saying that coaching/managing this team is not in my job description - I do it out of love of the sport and the kids.)

The program simply cannot run effectively without additional adult support. It is to accommodate parent schedules that the General Monday/Wednesday practice will be moved to 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.- after football season.  I must have at least one other responsible adult to supervise for the duration of these practices in order for them to proceed.  And, as mentioned throughout this manual, the number of teams able to enter competition will depend entirely upon volunteer assistance.

Parents can expect to receive calls for help with Practice or Event Supervision, which will involve:
   Record Keeping - lates, forms, etc.
   Supervision and Discipline
   Monitoring equipment - ensuring all signs/poms/banners/ ghetto-blaster/ music are in good shape and where they need to be.
   Videotaping/ Photographing - events and practices

Parents can also expect to receive call for help with:
   Making phone calls/ passing on information
   General Chaperoning (fund-raisers, Competitions)

Finally, the O'Leary Cheer Parents Association needs individuals to fill the following positions:
   Vice President
   Secretary
   Fund-raising Coordinator
   Supervision Coordinator
If you are interested in any of these positions or in participating on the Association or on a Committee please contact Julie L'Heureux at 455-8390.  

As well, if the team is planning to compete in California in the spring, and/or go to Seattle in June for summer camp, additional fundraising efforts are going to be needed on an individual basis.

I have tremendous faith in the students at O'Leary.  We have come a long way in just two short years.  With your help, I know we can make O'Leary's 2001/2002 Cheer Team Champions!

Thanking you in advance for your assistance,

Susan Rich, Teacher and Head Coach