Bar Association Springs Into Action To Help DPS

Attorneys, Judges Take Time Out From Courtroom To Help In Classroom

When the superintendent of Denver Public Schools put out a call for help, the Denver Bar Association stepped up to the plate.

Nearly 200 members of the bar have volunteered to be "guest" teachers at DPS.

On average, DPS needs about 300 substitute or "guest" teachers every day.

Mark Fogg, president of the bar association, was one of the members who took time out from the courtroom Tuesday to help in the classroom.

"It's a great way to help out Denver Public Schools," Fogg told 7NEWS.

Fogg was assigned to one fourth-grade and one fifth-grade reading class at Greenlee Elementary School.

"He's a good teacher," 10-year-old Martin Martinez told 7NEWS. "We asked him questions and he gave answers about being a lawyer."

"He makes me want to be a lawyer when I grow up," added 10-year-old Larae Medina.

"That's certainly one of the reasons why we do it," Fogg said. "To expose kids to what it's like to be a lawyer, to practice law and to hopefully encourage some to go into that profession."

"As the demographics of this country change," Fogg added, "we need to have people who are representative of all the different minority groups in this country. We need to have inclusiveness in our profession."

Tom Boasberg, the new superintendent of Denver Public Schools said, "I think it's just absolutely terrific to find this level of support from the community."

Boasberg said schools are the lifeblood of the community.

"Our success depends so much on our relationship with parents, with community members and with caring adults who come into the classroom and volunteer their time," he said.

When asked what his first day in the classroom was like, Fogg chuckled then said, "I forgot how hard it can be to keep things to a dull roar more than anything else."

He said the attorneys, judges, magistrates and paralegals from the bar association who are volunteering at DPS are doing so without pay. The bar's commitment to DPS will help save the district nearly $37,000.