Watch my latest story, "Dedicated dad volunteers at elementary school", and if you aren't already volunteering at your child's school, you may now be inspired to start! Although I don't have children yet, I found myself hoping that when I do, I'll remember Billy Greenwood. Not only does he fill in as teacher to the students, it seems like he may be teaching other parents a thing or two about being a role model to children.
So how do you start? Here are a few ideas from www.greatschools.net to get you going!
Join the club. The PTA, home and school club or school site council are key organizations. Being a part of any of these groups will also help to connect you with other parents and community members. Call the school secretary for contact information.
Attend school board meetings. You will have the opportunity to provide your input as well as get an inside view on how the school board makes decisions that affect your community's schools.
Give a boost to a school club. In the era of "no extras" in education, your school's enrichment programs can probably use a little extra help. If your child is involved with any clubs or activities at school, call the person in charge of the activity and see if you can help with transportation, supplies or planning.
Get technical. If you have strong computer skills, such as Web site creation or network administration, see if your school needs some help getting a computer system together or maintaining or upgrading the equipment they already have.
Share your time and your talents. Teachers often need parent volunteers to help with small group activities, reading to children or correcting papers. Are you a fabulous chef or a craft whiz? Volunteer to give students a classroom demonstration of how to make an exotic dish or a creative holiday gift.
Organize a workplace tour. Do you work for a company that would be an interesting place for a field trip? Suggest a class visit to your workplace.
Start a clean-up crew. Are crushed soda cans and scrap paper the primary decor on campus? Why not designate one Saturday in the spring "School Clean-Up Day"? Include parents, students, teachers and any community members who want to help. Participants will feel a sense of ownership and will be less likely to ignore litter in the future.
Get out your green thumb. Have you noticed that the school grounds could use some work? Talk to the principal or PTA about gathering a group of parents to plant trees or flowers in a few spots around the school.
Be in the driver's seat. Teachers often need parents to drive or chaperone on school field trips.
The school library needs you. Most schools, short on funds to hire librarians, rely on parent help to keep the library open for students. Offer to check out or shelve books, assist students or donate money to buy books for the library.
Have fun making a difference!