Mayor honors Eagle Scout Michael Thomas as Marysville's Volunteer of the Month
April 5, 2011 · 7:15 AM
MARYSVILLE – Mayor Jon Nehring has announced that Eagle Scout Michael Thomas is the community Volunteer of the Month for March for his contribution of teaching-aid games and books to Marysville preschool programs.
Thomas, 15, a Pathways of Choice student at Marysville-Pilchuck High School and youngest recipient of the award to date, was honored at the March 28 City Council meeting and greeted by a standing ovation from city officials and onlookers that included several family members and friends.
Thomas had been in search of a community project to join the elite group of Boy Scouts across the country who have achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. Their handiwork can be seen most notably through projects that have improved and beautified Marysville’s park system.
Thomas went a different direction. When he heard that the Marysville School District’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) needed games and books to help get 4- and 5-year-old preschoolers’ educational journey off on the right foot, he went to work making a difference, Nehring said.
ECEAP is a free, state-funded preschool program that serves a variety of families including homeless, bi-lingual and children with special needs – families that need the support and opportunities that ECEAP offers. When the instructors heard about Thomas’ plans, they were overjoyed.
Thomas built what are called “File Folder” games. They are inexpensive, colorful, fun and easy games that pack easily into a file folder, and are good for helping preschoolers learn their colors, counting and other school basics.
When the Sunnyside Preschool at the Church of the Nazarene heard about his project, he decided to help them, too. It made sense, since some of his younger siblings were attending preschool there.
When Thomas realized that he would be making 50 of the File Folder games, he raised his own money through odd jobs to buy the materials, then assembled the games for use.
ECEAP will be presenting Thomas with a “Caring Community” Award next month at the Everett Train Station.
Thomas lost his birth father in a terrible auto accident a week after he turned 11. The family introduced him to scouting as a way to keep him moving in the right direction. His mom, Cathe, says that since that time, her son has taken a humanitarian approach to life, with an eager willingness to help others, while setting his own course for a life filled with achievements and success.
The Mayor commended Thomas for his volunteer service.
“Michael may be a soft-spoken young man, but his actions are speaking volumes. Your father would be proud. Your family is proud, and we as a community are proud of the difference you made in the lives of young children thanks to your project,” said Nehring.