Like you, I only have so many hours in a day. While I had the best of intentions about joining my school’s parent council, the meetings were held on a night I had to take my older son to skating and my younger son to tutoring. Short of cloning myself, it just wasn’t going to work into my schedule.
Thankfully, there are many other ways to volunteer at your child’s school, and not all of them take a lot of time.
Note: Before you raise your hand to volunteering, check with your school about the requirements. Most need you to have a police background check before you’re allowed to volunteer.
When You Have No Time To Spare: Bulk Up
The next time you’re out shopping, grab a couple of extra boxes of tissues, some glue sticks, or whatever else the classrooms may need. Teachers spend a lot of their own money on supplies, so anything extra is always appreciated.
When You Have 30 Minutes to Spare: Get Crafty
Junior/Senior Kindergarten teachers do a lot of prep work for daily crafts and games. When my boys were in kindergarten, I arranged with their teacher to leave her craft prep work in the school office. I would pick it up, do whatever needed to be done, and drop it off the next day. It mostly consisted of cutting and gluing, so I could binge-watch my favourite shows at the same time. Win/win.
When You Have an Hour to Spare: Buddy Up
Reading opens up a whole new world for kids. Spend one-on-one time helping them learn to read, or volunteer to be a guest reader for the class.
When You Have Two to Three Hours to Spare: One-Off Events
Fundraisers, school fairs, book fairs… throughout the year there are many one-off events that take place in schools. These are usually large undertakings and many volunteers are needed. Assistance is always welcome.
When You Want To Volunteer But Need To Know in Advance The Exact Time and Date: Get in the Driver’s Seat
Transportation to and from school field trips is typically done by bus. But when it comes to school sports like volleyball, basketball, and cross country, the teams are too small to warrant the expense which means it’s up to parent volunteers to get the kids where they need to go. This is a bonus win for parents because you hear what the kids are talking about while you ferry them to and fro.
What You Should Make Time For:
For the most part, teachers only hear from parents when things go wrong, so if there is a teacher who went the extra mile for your child, or just did something nice, send a quick email to let them know.
We all like to feel appreciated.
Written by: Sharon DeVellis, YMC.ca