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How to Volunteer at Your Child's School
Volunteering is now a requirement at some schools, but don't fret: There are painless and fun ways to volunteer, even if you missed signing up early during the back-to-school orientation.
Open the lines of communications. Call, e-mail or write a note to your child's teacher or an administrator to find out how you can best volunteer. While you might explain some of your talents at this time, you should definitely ask if your school has a volunteering requirement.
Attend the school's PTA meetings. If you still aren't sure where to share your time, going to these meetings shows your school support and lets you network with other parents while learning about the school's needs.
Take stock of your skills and what you might be able to offer the school. Can you help out in the computer lab or accompany classes on field trips? Can you design posters or newsletters? Are you a successful fundraiser ready to spearhead a drive for much-needed cash?
Some parents get involved in the area of curriculum, helping prepare the school for special themed units or with learning languages. For others, chairing an annual festival is a logistics heaven, while other moms and dads happily sort library books, read to classes or monitor the halls for late arrivals.
Figure out how much time you have available to volunteer. Can you assist daily, weekly, or on an ongoing project? Some can be completed from a computer, a kitchen table or the classroom. Can you help sew costumes for the play or sort through photos for the yearbook? Do you want to prepare cafeteria food each day or monitor the playground? Or would you rather help kindergarten students open their milk boxes during weekly lunch duty?
Find places to volunteer by keeping your eyes and ears open. Maybe you've noticed that the office administrator needs help during drop-off, or that each year the PTA has no one to make coffee at the annual breakfast. Talk to other parents in the school, watch what is happening at the events you attend and find a place to offer your help.
Remember: More parents are volunteering at school because of the positive effects it has on their children. Two annual national events -- National Parental Involvement Day and Public School Volunteer Week -- recognize the importance of school volunteers.
Related: Should Parents Be Required to Volunteer at School, Why You Should Volunteer at Your Child's School
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