The Busy Mom's Guide to Volunteering in School
Easy ways every parent can volunteer and get involved in your child's school, even if you only have 5 minutes to spare
If you're like most moms, you probably wish there were more hours in the day. By the time you take care of your family, your job, and your house, there's not much time left to see your friends, let alone head up a committee to improve something at your kid's school. But giving even a few minutes can go far toward bettering your child's education—as long as you make those minutes count. Still need convincing? “Research shows that family involvement leads to higher grades and better social skills and behavior,” says Mary Jo Neil, a former member of the National PTA's board of directors. So...what are you waiting for?
If you've got 5 minutes
Contact the office of your representatives in Washington, D.C., about education issues that concern you. After all, if you have time to vote on American Idol, you have time to make your voice heard to improve education. To reach your senators and congressional representatives, visit usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml.
Visit the National PTA website, pta.org, to subscribe to “PTA Parent,” a free monthly newsletter that will keep you up-to-date with the issues affecting our schools. The site offers a wealth of information along with a variety of ways to get involved with the organization. Need more motivation? If you join the organization (you don't need to join to receive the newsletter), you'll get discounts on products from Sharp Electronics and T-Mobile. Sweet!
E-mail your child's teacher when your little one enjoyed something the class did—or just to tell her that she's doing a great job. Teachers tend to hear from parents only when a child is having problems; letting her know how much you support and appreciate her will help keep your child foremost in her thoughts, too. “I make sure the teacher knows I'm on her side when it comes to education,” says Chamarro Nicole Caldwell on Facebook.