The start of school brings the start of fundraising and volunteering requests and it can quickly become overwhelming. According to a recent survey conducted by Women & Co. and Parenting.com, half of moms say that the level of parent participation required in school fundraisers is becoming a burden. Make responsible choices when participating in fundraisers and consider giving your time this school year on your terms. There’s nothing more fun to a kid than seeing mom at school. Plus, when your child sees you in her classroom, it demonstrates that you and the teacher are a team and that education is important and valued in your family.
As the school year is kicking off, consider these top tips for making school volunteering fit into your busy life.
Be realistic with your schedule
- Can you spare 30 minutes a term? Sign up to be a class reader! Kids love seeing their mom front-and-center reading their favorite book.
- Can you spare one morning a term? Volunteer to chaperone a field trip or help with a special holiday performance or class celebration.
- Can you spare one or more mornings a month? Talk to the teacher about her needs in the classroom and sign up as a reading, math, or science-station helper.
- Can’t make it in to school? Volunteer your time at home with your child – preparing craft kits for the class party or cut-outs for the bulletin board. When your work shows up at school, your child will be proud that together you contributed to her class.
TIP: Make scheduling classroom volunteers quick and easy with VolunteerSpot.com. Free online signup sheets and scheduling make it a snap to signup, schedule and remind parent helpers. No more ‘reply-all’ emails!
Volunteer your talents
Do you love art, music, gardening, or computers? Many of these enriching activities are the first to go in school budget cuts. Talk to your child’s teacher about sharing your special skills and interests with the class.
Up for more? Become the Room Mom
We all know that if you want something done, give it to a busy person. If you like organizing events and celebrations and are good at delegating, consider becoming the Room Mom and working with the teacher to make the school year extra fun and memorable for the kids.
Support the School, too!
Many schools have experienced significant budget cuts over the past few years and need parents’ help to cover lost staff positions and fund enrichment programs and technology. Consider taking a volunteer shift supervising at recess, in the cafeteria or library. Support fundraisers as a school carnival or walkathon volunteer, and participate in product sales as your family budget allows.
Karen Bantuveris is the founder & CEO of VolunteerSpot, a FREE time-saving (and stress-saving) online signup and scheduling tool that empowers busy parents, teachers and volunteers by making it easier to pitch in and get involved – without ‘reply-all’ email! Karen is passionate about boosting parent-participation at school and speaks regularly about using social media to spark action in the real-world. Karen lives in Austin, Texas with her daughter, husband, and a ridiculous number of pets.