Volunteering in your children’s school is one of the best methods of both helping the school and being involved in your children’s education.
Schools in Alabama and in Dothan, in particular, are financially strapped due to the statewide education funding cutbacks over the last several years. This year in Dothan, the new school superintendent has eliminated over 50 positions in the support staff area such as janitorial and office administration.
Parents can step in and close the gap by giving several hours a day or even a whole day a week to go to the school and assist by making copies for teachers, tearing pages out of workbooks and collating them, listening to children read, and doing other tasks which would help the office personnel.
One very important way to help your children’s teacher is by assisting with classroom parties such as Valentine’s Day or Christmas parties. Generally, the days of the homeroom parent are gone so the teacher needs someone to help prepare the class for the party and assist in fixing the children’s plates and drinks, as needed. After the party, the parent can assist in cleaning up. In the Dothan School System, the schools have a Field Day. This is a time for the children to participate in competitive outdoor activities and an opportunity for the PTO to raise funds for their organization. Usually tickets are sold which the student can exchange for face painting, popcorn, cap visors which the student can write and draw on, candy, and so on. This event needs parents to volunteer to “man” the various stations and collect the tickets from the students.
Being involved in volunteerism not only helps the school in general, but the teacher in particular. Not having to do their own copying and other tasks, which a volunteer can do, frees them to devote more time to teaching and classroom preparation.
How do you get started in volunteering at your school? If the school does not have a volunteer coordinator, talk with the principal or assistant principal and let your desire to help be known. Your initiative will encourage them and be very appreciated. Then be prepared to go to work, but it will be the most rewarding and satisfying work, you can do.
Volunteering in your children’s school will also show your children that you are interested and concerned about their education. Of course, this is not to imply that if you do not volunteer you are not interested nor concerned about their education. It will just be a visible, tangible way of demonstrating to your children that you are willing to put feet to your concern for their school and education.