Just imagine this scenario: "One librarian, 600 students checking out books, three to five books every week but a volunteer come and help shelve those books and the task becomes possible," explains Carla Garrett.
Volunteers make a huge difference and this year, Stephen F. Austin elementary, has seen the effects.
Principal Garrett wanted to administer tests called "probes" to get a snapshot view of what a student knows when they begin the school year and what they learn over a period of time.
When she realized she did not have enough staff to take care of the enormous task, she started looking for help.
Eventually she and her instructional coordinator found some willing retirees who were more than excited to help their community.
"I've enjoyed it. It's been fun. It's not taxing. It's fun to work with the kids," says Patricia Webb, a former AISD teacher.
The kids are what many of these retirees have missed the most.
Myra Holmans adds, "I think once a teacher, always a teacher, and I miss the classroom. I miss interacting with kids, seeing what's going on."
The volunteers administer a one-on-one test to students in kindergarten, first and second grade and in one minute the student is tested on reading or math skills.
"I say, now there's no grade, this is just to find out where you are," says Beverly Kimbrough.
All of the volunteers agree, thus far, this program has been a great experience.
"I believe if there's anything you can do to help a child, you must do it," says Carol Manwarren.
They would not change it for the world. Even if it means they have to trade in their soap operas and lunch dates to return to the classroom.