Why You Should Volunteer at Your Kids' School

Earlier this year, I volunteered at our elementary school for our annual spring book fair. This is one of my favorite school volunteer opportunities, and I typically clear my calendar for the entire week to help out – from set-up to take-down and all the selling days in between. Why do I enjoy it so much? First of all, it's books, so duh. Secondly, it's just plain fun, and I know it's good for both me AND my kids for me to be present in their schools.

No matter what grade your kids are in, volunteering is a great way to show your kids that you take an interest in their education, and it sends a positive message that you consider school a worthwhile cause. Parent volunteers offer a huge resource and support base for the school community, while showing kids the importance of participating in the larger community. Even if you haven't been involved in the past, it's never too late to start! According to PTO Today, "Researchers have been studying the effects that parent attitudes and actions have on their children’s academic success for many years, and they have reported consistently that children with parents involved in their education and schools earn better grades, score higher on tests, and much more." But how should you go about volunteering? If your school has a website, there is probably a link to the Parent-Teacher group. These groups go by a variety of names these days: PTO, PTA, Home/School Partnership, etc.

Sign up for the newsletter and/or join their Facebook group if they have one. Getting involved can seem difficult for parents that work full time, but with a little thought and creativity, you can get involved, too!  Parent involvement can mean helping kids at home with schoolwork and projects; attending school events, which helps foster a connection between home and school; and volunteering and participating directly in school. Just find something that works for you. Don't see something? Ask your Parent-Teacher Group leadership, or offer your skill-set, whatever it may be.

I have been an active member of our Home-School Partnership since my now 15-year-old entered kindergarten. It's been an incredible experience and a great way to meet other families, teachers and administrators. 

Do you volunteer at your kids' school? What's your favorite opportunity?

Hillary Chybinski is a crafty mom of 2 boys living the American Dream with her husband in the Philly burbs. This post was adapted from her blog, My Scraps.

Categories: MomSpeak