I might have heard it said before that “it’s always the same people volunteering in schools… again and again.” I might have also heard “once you’re in, you’re in. They’ll keep asking again.” In fact, there might be the idea out there that some parent organizations are rather clique-ish and only sign themselves up for things because they don’t know the other parents or don’t trust them or… whatever. And while those feelings all exist and can be (and have been seen to be) true, what’s really true is that, often, some parents find it easier to volunteer than others.
But, let’s be honest here, we’re all thankful when our children are safe and comfortable in the place where they spend about 7 hours each day, right? And we all really do want the best for that place.
As director of our school’s PTO, and as a former teacher, I’ve learned that not all parents find it easy to volunteer, but nine times out of 10, they want to find some way to help out and create real change.
4 ways parents can make a REAL change in schools
Give to a program that helps your school, like Adopt a Classroom
Did you know that teachers spend an average of $1000 of their own money on teaching supplies? That 92% of teachers report spending their own money on supplies to help children succeed? At Adopt a Classroom, teachers register their classroom and their classroom needs. Parents (and other donors) can search for a classroom to support and donate money. Teachers can then purchase items for their classrooms that will help their students learn and have what they need to succeed. 100% of AdoptAClassroom.org donations go directly to teachers, so they don’t have to spend their own money on supplies.
You can help today by registering your child’s teacher for Adopt a Classroom.
Offer to help from home
There are many parents who work full-time or travel during the week, who would love to be supportive from home. If you’re one, let your teacher know that you’re willing (and able) to type up reports, create worksheets, cut supplies for projects or tabulate the Scholastic book orders. Some teachers will even send you math worksheets to check. Share your interests and talents with the teacher so that she can keep you in mind when she’s in need.
Help the children
Sometimes it’s the children that need help, just as much as the teachers. And when the children and their families get help, it makes the class environment one more conducive to learning. Talk to the guidance counselor or school principal and let them know that, if there is a family in need, you’d be happy to anonymously provide a meal, holiday presents or school supplies.
Learn more: 20 Ways To Volunteer For Your Child’s School
Join Office Depot’s #TeachersChangeLives Pinterest Sweepstakes
I’m helping Office Depot kick off the first part of the campaign with a Pinterest Sweepstakes that is incredibly easy to enter in order to win Office Depot gift cards for you and the teacher of your choice. For inspiration visit Office Depot #TeachersChangeLives pin board!
Once you create your #TeachersChangeLives Pinterest board, be sure to report it using this form. Three winners whose boards meet the entry requirements will be randomly selected to win a $100 Office Depot gift card for themselves and a $50 Office Depot gift card for the teacher of their choice! Full sweepstakes rules can be found on Office Depot’s Facebook page.
I am an Office Depot REAL Change blog ambassador. This post is part of a campaign where I was compensated for my time. To learn more about how to create REAL Change, visit their website.
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